Holden willing to accept more government support

 

Holden managing director Mike Devereux says that his company is ready to seek further government assistance to continue manufacturing in Australia.

This is despite yesterday’s decision by Ford Australia to cease all automotive manufacturing within Australia in 2016 and fears that the car industry has a limited future in this country.

Devereux told ABC Radio that over the last 12 years Holden has injected about $33 billion into the Australian economy.

"I think that's a pretty good deal. You give me 1.8 billion bucks, we generate $32.7 billion in economic activity,” he said.

"That's an 18-times multiplier. If that stuff goes away that's a really big hole in the economy."

Holden posted a loss of $152.8 million last year which was its second biggest loss ever. This followed a loss of $89.69 million the previous year.

And the company recently announced it would cut 400 jobs at its Elizabeth production plant in northern Adelaide. The cuts will be made despite the support it received from the Federal and State Governments.

However, Devereux claims the company has a future in Australian manufacturing and Holden has said it will continue production until at least 2022.

"I do believe that we can still be making cars 10 years from now because I think we have a plan to do that,” Devereux said.

"It's a plan with really great global architectures, it's a plan that puts two top-selling cars in Adelaide, but it also is a plan that requires a bit of focus right now from both sides of government because we do need some policy settings changed."

According to the Herald Sun, Holden is in discussions with the State Government over a $50 million payment made to Holden. The payment is being withheld amid accusations that the company broke an agreement when it cut the 400 jobs at Elizabeth.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill is a strong supporter of future automtive manufacturing in his state. He says that Holden is in a stronger position than Ford and has advanced plans for new car models that could also expand opportunities for component suppliers.