Holden managing director Mike Devereux has cited the decline in Holden Cruze sales as “mostly attributable” to the Adelaide manufacturing job losses announced today.
Devereux listed the strength of the Australian dollar, the open competitiveness of the market and other countries manipulating their currency to protect their manufacturing industries as reasons why the Holden Cruze small car is suffering against imports in the marketplace.
He reinforced that the reasons behind the decision to slash 500 jobs from Holden‘s manufacturing and product development are “not things that our employees have had any control over, frankly they’re not things that our leadership team at Holden can control, or more broadly that anybody making things in this country have control over.
“What I have to do as the leader of this organisation here is make sure that we have an efficient and effective operation,” added Devereux. “I have to make sure that we put viable products into our plant.
“The biggest difference in terms of our operating profile in the last 12 months, is the small car volumes that we have seen.
“Certainly the workforce reductions in Adelaide are mostly attributable to a drop in our Cruze volumes, precipitated by fairly viscious price competition…
“We are the only company that makes a small car in this country, and certainly with the sustained strength of the Aussie dollar, and some of the active participation of central banks in other countries to … protect their automotive industries we are certainly having to react to that as we build a trade-exposed vehicle in this country.”
Sales of the Cruze are down 30.5 per cent year-to-date, while Holden has this month restructured a facelifted range of hatch and sedan with cheaper pricing and a revised engineering packaging aimed to lure back buyers to the small car.