Holden to slash more jobs

Holden has announced it will cut another 170 jobs in Adelaide due to falling car sales.

Earlier this year it cut shifts at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia, dropping 150 workers, explaining that it was shedding the second assembly shift at its Elizabeth plant, along with about 150 contract and casual jobs, and adding the remaining permanent workers to the main shift so they can assemble cars more quickly.

In September it added that it was initiating 'market response days' to cease production in the days running up to Christmas.

“Market response days” will see employees stay at home on 60 per cent of their regular wages, with the option of using long service or holiday leave to top up their pay.

“We do understand that these kind of decisions, we don't take them lightly and we do understand that there is an effect on our employees, so we worked really closely with the unions to identify the best days and everyone's been informed,” Holden corporate affairs manager Sean Poppitt said.

Now it is offering voluntary redundancies as it drops production to 400 cars per day, the ABC reports.

"This move will better align production with customer requirements and projected future volume and is a necessary step to ensure that we are able to continue to have a viable manufacturing operation in Australia for the next decade," the company said in a statement.

In August last year, the automotive manufacturer raised production levels from 430 to 480 units per day, due to the success of the locally-made Cruze.

From May 2012, Holden will cut back to ‘around 400’ vehicles per day, due to weakening export demand.

The new, ‘fast’ production cycle will take 60 seconds, instead of the previous 125 seconds it took to assemble a car.

A Holden spokesperson told Manufacturers' Monthly that workers will be happier, as they will be doing "less tasks in less time and improving the quality of those tasks".

The automotive manufacturing industry saw another massive job cut last week as Autodom announced an 'indefinite halt' at its operations.

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