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.


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Statement attributable to Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux:

The announcement by Ford today is a reminder of just how tough it is for manufacturers in Australia, even the most committed, like Holden, which is bringing out the most technologically advanced car ever made in Australia.

The new Commodore is a car that is a class above and will change minds. It plays a critical role in Holden's long-term future in Australia and it is expected that Commodore will continue to be one of the top 10 selling cars in the country.

Despite Ford's announcement to end local manufacturing, we believe the industry can survive in Australia and has already adjusted in large part given Ford's relatively low production volumes.

Holden set out a 10-year manufacturing plan that was agreed with the Australian Government in 2012, based on the economic and market conditions at that time. That plan would see Holden invest a billion dollars in this country and secure production of two all-new global vehicles out to 2022.

The industry needs swift action to make Australia's automotive policy settings clear, consistent and globally competitive as quickly as possible.

Holden is working closely with the Australian Government, Federal Coalition and the State Governments to ensure the viability of the industry in the face of the historically significant economic challenges facing the country.



The announcement by Ford today is a reminder of just how tough it is for manufacturers in Australia, even the most committed, like Holden, which is bringing out the most technologically advanced car ever made in Australia.

The new Commodore is a car that is a class above and will change minds. It plays a critical role in Holden's long-term future in Australia and it is expected that Commodore will continue to be one of the top 10 selling cars in the country.

Despite Ford's announcement to end local manufacturing, we believe the industry can survive in Australia and has already adjusted in large part given Ford's relatively low production volumes.

Holden set out a 10-year manufacturing plan that was agreed with the Australian Government in 2012, based on the economic and market conditions at that time. That plan would see Holden invest a billion dollars in this country and secure production of two all-new global vehicles out to 2022.

The industry needs swift action to make Australia's automotive policy settings clear, consistent and globally competitive as quickly as possible.

Holden is working closely with the Australian Government, Federal Coalition and the State Governments to ensure the viability of the industry in the face of the historically significant economic challenges facing the country.


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  • 35 Comments
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Holden will be struggling, but if they build the right models (SUV's) that sell well then they just might make 'some' profit. But GM will likely pull out after 2022 when the agreement has run it's course. And then nothing will keep Toyota staying after that I think. That's if they don't leave before that. What aggravates me the most though, is that Ford simply threw away 90 years of heritage in this country. And I WAS a through-and-through Ford man. However the people responsible is the Government. They let our car market get out of hand. And they let competing cheap labour countries fight on the same terms as our own products. That is a lose-lose scenario. To ad insult to injury, they let small piss-weak nations like Thailand flood our market with their products, and give us the shaft when we send products over to them and they tax the **** out of it... because that's the nature of our Free Trade Agreement. And we just take it on the chin. Meanwhile, our products aren't financially competitive, they no longer get made, our people lose their jobs, factories close, and then we find ourselves not being able to make a damned thing in this country. In the future we will find our nation being run by overseas corporations who dictate terms to us, a market of consumers only, and our politicians will retire in luxury. 1 million cars sold every year, over 60 brands, 360 models, and soon to be zero tariffs on imported models. Couple that with the lowest co-investment from government of any car building nation, $17 per person, and you have the reason Australian built cars will soon be extinct.
        The Other Bob
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        The U.S. has been allowing carmakers to import here without reciprocal access since the 1970's. I feel your pain.
          Brodz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Other Bob
          To be fair Bob. Those car makers are now starting to build factories in the USA, employing thousands of Americans. Expanding a skilled workforce that has flow on effects to other industries. Increased employment and scale in the automotive technology suppliers industry too not to mention. Large amounts of Government investment that bring money back into the country through taxes. These are commendable. It's also what makes me angry when Americans come on here and trash the car makers, trash Obama, and the US government. But the truth is your industry was saved and its huge lifeline that all should be eternally grateful for. I know this because we have almost lost ours. You don't want to lose it.
        vrit1202
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        I see what you're saying and it is a sad situation. But I guess when the top 4 brands (Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda) here happen to come from countries that are the largest exporters of our goods, it'll be quite difficult for the politicans, they just don't hold the card.
        Shakeel Ali
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        You couldn't be more right mate! The Government want to live in fantasy universe where all our trade partners pay fair and abide by their agreements. Guess what, they dont and never will. We get shafted, and they get to tax our exports to oblivion.Until the Government grows a pair and steps up to protect our interest overseas, news like this will sadly become all too common.
          Brodz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shakeel Ali
          It's pathetic. It might soon border on hysterical. It is seriously like watching a slow motion train-wreck, but the people in control aren't acting to prevent it. Why does our nation continue to let itself get pushed around(especially by weaker nations)? But more importantly, why doesn't act to protect it's tax-payers?
        nettsu
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brodz
        there's rumours that that there will be a third product line added - mostly like the next generation Trax and something I was reading was saying that it would done for export (as that's only how it would be viable).
      Dani
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford is a highly competent brand but if failed in this situation. The Falcon was out date in almost every respect compared to something like the Commodore. Ford should have combined the platforms of the mustang, falcon, Taurus, Lincoln etc. a very long time ago. Even in times like these people are still buying large rwd cars, they could have badge engineered falcon in Australia, Taurus in the states and anywhere else in the world. Would have been viable with proper marketing. I hope the commodore doesn't follow the way of the Falcon, but its looking increasingly likely
        Brodz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dani
        Ummmm... no. The Falcon was not out of date. the FG model Falcon is better in almost all respects than the VE Commodore. You don't know what you are talking about.
      Felspawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know Holden and Ford guys in Australia are very very dedicated bunch but with Ford Abandoning Australia i wonder if Holden will get a few converts.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Cyrus Brooks
        • 1 Year Ago
        I agree the Commodore, G8, and SS are fantastic performance sedans. I like the more understated grown up look of these cars compared to the extroverted, in your face style of the Charger. It's a shame Ford is pulling the plug on the Falcon instead of updating it and bringing it to the USA. The Taurus SHO just doesn't do it for me.
          Daniel D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cyrus Brooks
          Actually carguy the FG Falcon was designed to deal with LHD, but it wasn't carried through. Signs of the work done include a redesigned firewall, asymmetrical dashboard that could support the steering wheel on both sides and several mules that were running the Ford V6 powerplant, instead of the Aussie inline sixes. One of the poor quality managers Ford US sent out to run the show cancelled it and cost cut the car instead. He didn't last long before resigning from Ford altogether because he was hopeless, but the damage was done. Didn't help they sent out another idiot after him who also ended up resigning after screwing things up too. We got a good guy after that, an Aussie to, who got Territory back on track and had plans for Falcon. So they sent him to China quicksmart.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cyrus Brooks
          [blocked]
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        Was the Lincoln LS successor that Lincoln MKR concept car that was shown in around February 2007? If so, that was a nice looking car that should have been green lit for production. Ford needs a better luxury sedan than the FWD Lincoln MKS now that the Lincoln Town Car is gone. Ford could have imported the Australian Falcon to America and called it the Interceptor or something like that. At least GM is bringing the Holden Commodore over as the Chevrolet SS. Maybe Ford will learn to bring over a hot Australian performance sedan the same way they decided to bring over the excellent European Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus cars finally.
      Healthy Chap
      • 1 Year Ago
      Tne only reason 'stralia manufacturing made no sense for Ford was the lack of a foreign market for the Falcons.
      RampantFury
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just keep Holden on, GM...Yes, that was terrible.
      LoneWolf
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please stay in business, Holden. You make some great cars.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        dukeisduke
        • 1 Year Ago
        As good a car as it was, the G8 was a flop, and an El Camino would be a flop, too. Most younger buyers aren't interested in something like that; only people nostalgic for the original ones.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @dukeisduke
          [blocked]
        Shakeel Ali
        • 1 Year Ago
        Holden are willing and ready to build pretty much anything GM ask them to. The major hurdle to a reborn El Camino is the Chicken tax. Unfortunately the Ute/El Camino is considered a light commercial pickup and would be slugged with the 25% tax so it would be way too expensive to compete.
      Matt.Shift_
      • 1 Year Ago
      If it's just high manufacturing costs, and not a disappearing market, Holden has a shot.
        dukeisduke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt.Shift_
        Only is they can get their costs down, and that's a tall order if the plants are union. With Ford stopping manufacturing in Oz, supplier parts costs will go up, making matters worse. I think badge-engineered American and European GM products are what's in their future.
      Narom
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope it doesnt mean ford dropping out of Aussie V8s
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Narom
        [blocked]
      anon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Jeez what are these Aussie\'s thinkin, they are making some of the most decent platforms (GMH and Ford) and they are not really leveraging them in other markets. GM barely utilizes the Commodore/Statesman platform in the US (police sales only C\'MON) and Ford should used their Falcon platform as replacement for the LTD/Crown Victoria/Galaxie. But NNOOOO Ironically when Chrysler re entered they brought the US version of the 300 there a decent car w/ RHD.
        Brodz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @anon
        Ultimately it's what we think, but what the Executives in Michigan decide.
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      make them falcons here. only reason i cant get a mustang cuz it aint 4 door.
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