Nearly 500 employees of Holden, GM's Australian outpost, will be without jobs as the company adjusts to the high dollar, fierce competition from foreign rivals and lagging Commodore (shown above) and Cruze sales. In 2005, Holden sold 66,794 Commodore models. But that number plummeted to just 30,532 units last calendar year, prompting the automaker to lay off 170 workers just five months ago. With this latest round, about 100 jobs will be cut in its Melbourne product development facility and another 400 will be slashed at its Elizabeth plant, in South Australia, as the company slows production from 400 units to 335 units per day.

The Australian government has invested more than $2.2 billion ($2.29 billion US dollars) of its own funds to help Holden over the years, and there are future subsidies on the line, but many are questioning the investments. When Holden managing director Mike Devereux was asked about the brand's future, he was far from optimistic. "I cannot predict the future... I can't control what central banks do ... I cannot control the value of other currencies that we compete with and I cannot predict what that will do to our business.''


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  • 37 Comments
      alphalimaindigo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why have the Holden Commodore sales dropped so much in such a short time? The product has arguably become more competitive.
        Daniel D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @alphalimaindigo
        Petrol prices, imports are now much cheaper and better equipped thanks to the high Australian dollar, poor quality dealer network and Commodores are now seen as bogan cars. Bogan is the Australian culturual cringe factor. Bit like saying all GM cars are driven by red necks. SUV's are the current love story for many Australian buyers, who would have been traditionally Commodore buyers. Those buyers still left and still loyal to the brand are also all waiting for VF to appear. Finally I think the VF's exterior styling changes to make it fit into the Chev brand are not winning many fans for it in Australia. Certainly not enough for a long term boost over current VE sales.
      David Fisher
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like the down under GM does the same thing as the regular GM which is to not keep up with what people want. GM\'s mentatilty is \"we will build what we want and they will buy it\" You would think they wouold learn from past mistakes...
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Gee, I wonder why nobody wants a Commodore anymore. Couldn't be the fact that it looks like a '98 kia now could it?
        Luis A. Martinez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IBx27
        May be,but Kia Hiunday quality is way better than Holden,plus all those imports from Korea make customer switch to German or Japanese brand,like always
          Daniel D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Luis A. Martinez
          The Koreans should get to work on your spellchecker.
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IBx27
        Ludicrous comment is ludicrous ... and lame
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      sstuczynsk
      • 1 Year Ago
      Must be related ot Obama.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sstuczynsk
        If only he hadn't forced us into communism and fascism and economic collapse, this never would have happened.
      D E S I G N
      • 1 Year Ago
      why can't we get these cars here? Instead we have to put up with ugly dysfunctional looking abominations for cars.
        wrxfrk16
        • 1 Year Ago
        @D E S I G N
        We get them, they're just in drag. The Camaro is based on the Monaro platform, the GTO was a Monaro, the G8 was essentially the Commodore, the GXP version their VXR 8. The Saturn Astra was a Vauxhall Astra, the Buick Regal is a Vauxhall Insignia, etc.
      RobbieAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The Australian government has invested more than $2.2 billion ($2.29 billion US dollars) of its own funds to help Holden over the years" So it's "Government Motors" down under as well?
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      "I cannot control the value of other currencies that we compete with and I cannot predict what that will do to our business.'' Yet another victim of Japanese currency manipulation and the idiotic free market fundies will cheer this on.
      Sir Duke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Holden (GM Australia) is currently learning what Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Oldsmobile & Pontiac (GM USA) learned over the past 30 years. If the staple of your portfolio are large, relatively inefficient cars, you lose. You would think by now Holden would have more efficient mid-sized cars as their staple then offering the Commodore line as your flagship models. Back in the early - mid 70s, my stepdad had a Holden Premier. The Commodore today is to Holden, what the Premier was back then. Problem is, the world has moved on. GM North America knows that. I can't believe GM/NA did not "cc:" GM AUS on that memo.
      PiCASSO
      • 1 Year Ago
      That new Commodore is beautiful...
        Daniel D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PiCASSO
        Styling is objective. I appreciate the interior updates, but the outside of the car has lost its Australian identity and just looks generic GM now.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess it's not efficient to run independent design and production in Australia...who knew? I think both Holden and Ford Australia demanded too much autonomy, which could only result in their demise.
        anon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        And yet that is where a lot of great product was developed that sadly we don\'t get much of in the US, or the rest of the world for that matter.
      garygkennedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should sell that care here in the states I think it would do well better looiking than what they have here.
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