With arch rival Ford of Australia having announced earlier this week that it will cease all in-continent manufacturing in 2016, you might think that General Motors' Holden division might be feeling a bit more confident about its future prospects. Yet that doesn't necessarily appear to be the case. At least for the moment, Ford's headline-grabbing announcement may take some of the wind out of the sails of Holden's new VF Commodore lineup (SS model pictured above), a critical new range launching right now. Further, the same high assembly costs that are being blamed for Ford shuttering its plants Down Under also affect Holden, and then there's the as-yet-unknown effect of the Blue Oval's pullout on Australia's supplier base, much of which the two companies share.
According to an official statement attributed to Holden chairman Mike Devereux, the automaker is holding hands on both sides of the country's political aisle as he works to secure government goodwill and understanding for the auto industry's challenges. For the moment, Holden's commitment to Australian production appears stronger than Ford. Devereux notes the company has already vetted a 10-year production plan with the Australian government, and the billion-dollar investment that it requires will result in a pair of new global vehicles. Needless to say, Holden executives have a lot to figure out if they're going to continue to a viable enterprise in Down Under, and Ford's departure may add a sense of urgency to those discussions.