Holden will build two all-new cars in Australia in the second half of this decade with the support of a $275 million co-investment package from the Australian, South Australian and Victorian Governments.
Making the announcement in Canberra, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was joined by Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet and Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux.
Devereux said the funding announcement would drive investment of more than $1 billion from Holden and help secure the future of the local car industry.
â€œCo-investment of this kind is critical for our industry and helps Australia compete against other car making countries that protect their industries through tariffs and/or financial support,â€ he said.
â€œHolden will receive government co-investment of $275 million and directly invest well in excess of a billion dollars in the 10-year vehicle development and manufacturing program.
â€œThe investment will help Australia retain its capability to design, engineer and build cars with two all-new vehicles going into production at Elizabeth, South Australia, in the second half of this decade.
â€œThe two new Australian-made cars will be world-class. They will be underpinned by global architectures from within General Motors and bring new fuel-saving, connectivity and safety technologies to Holdenâ€™s portfolio.
â€œThe program also delivers a significant return on investment. We estimate Holden will inject around $4 billion into the Australian economy over the life of the program.”
Devereux said the local market was one the most fragmented and competitive in the world with 230 models on sale in Australia today compared to 144 in 1998 when large cars enjoyed their strongest sales.
â€œHoldenâ€™s business model has been a great success in this competitive and challenging environment. Last year we sold more locally-made cars in Australia than any other he said.
â€œGovernment investment has been instrumental in reshaping Holdenâ€™s manufacturing operations and has enabled us to build the Cruze small car in Australia, rather than import it.
â€œWe are acutely aware that with government investment comes great responsibility. We are focused on continuously improving our efficiency and quality to help us be amongst the best in the GM world.
â€œItâ€™s also important that people understand the economic benefits that flow from this public investment.
â€œThis announcement is a huge vote of confidence in Holden and the Australian car industry and it highlights how important it is to maintain manufacturing in this country,â€ Devereux said.