Holden nabs $40m grant for new fuel-efficient Commodore

GM Holden has received a further $40 million from the Government’s Green Car Innovation Fund to manufacture a more fuel-efficient Commodore.

Holden estimates this new Commodore will use 7% less fuel than pervious models, which equates to 3.6 million litres of petrol per year.

The Government gave $149 million to Holden last year to re-build its Cruze production line; the Cruze is a smaller, lower-emission car than Holden’s usual offerings.

Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr announced the latest $40 million investment at Holden’s Elizabeth plant this week, and heralded Holden’s Australian operations as among the top in the world.

“There are thirteen countries which currently have the design, engineering and technical capabilities to develop a motor vehicle from concept to market. Australia is one of them,” he said.

“We are joined by the United States, Brazil, Korea. Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, China, Malaysia and India.

“Membership of that elite group can never be taken for granted.”

Senator Carr says he $40 million will be used for a “major upgrade program” that will cross the spectrum from aerodynamic performance to new aluminium body parts and new high-tech steering for the new Commodore.

“It is good news for the many thousands of Australians who love this car. And it is great news for the Australian auto industry,” said Senator Carr.

The program will reportedly employ up to 440 engineers at any one time, generating up to 250 new positions.

“Their work will help secure the future for Holden’s 4,500 workers in Australia, who will receive $1.3 billion in direct wages over the life of the new Commodore. At least five times as many Australian workers will be supported indirectly,” Senator Carr said.

Holden recorded a $112 million profit in 2010 which, according to Senator Carr, is “a resounding vindication” of the support the Government has provided to the automotive manufacturer throughout the year.

Image: Senator Kim Carr and Mike Devereux, Chairman and Managing Director, Holden.

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