by Daniel DeGasperi

Holden has reportedly asked the federal government to double its investment in building its next generation Holden Commodore and Holden Cruze here, otherwise it will close its local manufacturing operations in 2016.

The Australian writes that Holden wants a further $265 million of taxpayer money, in addition to the $275 million already promised by the federal, and Victorian and South Australian state governments to continue local manufacturing.

A source close to CarAdvice yesterday confirmed that the changing economy has meant Holden has had to revise its business plan and renegoitate with government for an increased amount of “coinvestement”. The Australian further claims that Holden executives saw a strategic opportunity in Ford’s withdrawal from the local manufacturing scene from late 2016 (read more here) as the ideal time to renegotiate the agreement that would keep Holden’s Adelaide production plant open until at least 2022.

Holden Cruze manufacturing

“Since the Ford closure announcement, Holden believes it can apply a lot of pressure to get more money,” the source told The Australian.

The news comes weeks after Holden admitted it was costing the company $3750 more to build a Commodore or Cruze in Australia, compared with GM facilities in other markets, including Korea, where the Cruze was previously made, and the wagon remains built (read more here).

That figure was delivered in a statement made by Holden managing director Mike Devereux (below) on June 18th as a reason for announcing the company’s plans to renegotiate pay with its workforce. Holden is currently in talks with unions to reduce the wages of its workers to help the local manufacturing base stem the red ink.

Holden manufacturing 4

Holden has admitted that currently the locally built Cruze and Commodore are loss-makers for the company, compensated only by the popular, and profitable, Thailand-built Colorado ute and Korean-made Captiva SUV.

This year’s federal election is likely to be an ultimate decider on the fate of Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations.

As reported by CarAdvice last week, Kim Carr (below), the incoming federal Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research under the new Rudd Labor government, is a staunch advocate for retaining a local manufacturing base (read more here).


Prime minister Kevin Rudd is due to speak at a National Press Club address today, where a plan for the future of manufacturing in Australia is expected to feature prominently.

The Labor government has started a Facebook campaign showing Rudd’s support for manufacturing, the ad reading as a quote from the PM saying, “I never want to be PM of a country that doesn’t make things anymore..

By contrast, the coalition is committed to referring future motoring industry assistance to the Productivity Commission, with shadow industry minister Sophie Mirabella (below) pledging to cut $500 million of assistance from the car industry if elected this year.


“We do believe in supporting the car sector but we are reducing it [taxpayer funding] by $500 million a year,” she said on the ABC’s Q&A program in April.

Holden MD Devereux is committed to retaining Holden’s manufacturing base, but, it seems, only under the condition that more taxpayer money is given.

  • Shak

    Just a little context. Other sites are reporting that Holden themselves are denying these claims, and that any talks they are currently having with the Government and Unions are confidential, as stated by Senator Carr yesterday.

    • Daniel DeGasperi

      As stated, CarAdvice also has a source close to Holden who has confirmed the company will renegotiate the deal and ask the government for more money. Cheers,

      • Shak

        I guess the PM will be able to shed some light on the truth in a few hours. These “close sources” are always pesky, they only reveal enough to get the media salivating.

    • Peedoff

      They need to stop changing models every 5 mins. Build one good car and keep it for a while. That will cut costs. Stop copying styles. Give the market a real choice. Cut the bosses salary by half they are not worth the money.

      • $29896495

        What planet are you from. They haven’t made any real changes in 10 years. Keep changing?? It’s designed like it is to fit into chev line up.

  • Ox

    Maybe they should start manufacturing cars that people actually want to buy.

    • Shak

      I dont know what sales you’re looking at but Holden already make two top ten sellers in Australia, and lots of people buy them every month. The big issue at hand is not what type of cars Holden is making. It is with the cost of the cars they make. Any car Holden makes here in these current conditions will be too expensive, whether it be an SUV, One tonne Ute or Mid sized sedan. The Government needs to help lower costs, not throw money at Holden.

      • hadf

        No, Australian companies buy them not people. If you took out fleet sales, Holden wouldn’t have any models in the top 10. Regardless, Commodore hasn’t made the top 10 in the last two months and in prior months it was only just in 10th place by a tiny margin.

        It’s hard to imagine how they are too expensive to make considering the incredible cost cutting already in place. My parents 07 model has already broken down THREE times, coil pack first time, head failure 2nd time and after having a new engine fitted from the head problem, the engine managed to suck itself dry of oil after just 4000kms and seized.
        A quick look on the web, particularly across Commodore forums reveals the Alloytec is prone to coil pack failures around the 100,000km mark, head gaskets go at will and shocking oil consumption that can run the engine dry between services is normal (the “ask smithy” section in carsguide is packed with ppl complaining about Commodore oil consumption). Also when it is working, the 180KW engine performs like it only has about 140KW yet drinks fuel like a 240KW engine.

        • JoeR_AUS

          Yes and people in Australian companies can choose and you dont have to buy Holden.

          All manufactures have problems, the girl at work has not seen her VW for 3 months, Mazda 6 requiring $4,000 service at 120,000km, Nissan x-trail, oil cooler and fuel pump failure within 100,000km and dealer could not fix the hard starting.

          • Andy Whitby

            Amen, my last 2 Commodores have solidered on well past 300, 000kms. With only standard servering. Only theing that ever went was an oil sensor in the alloytech.

            Your forgetting, hadf, that Mazda is quietlt fixing all the CX-5 Desiels at thier first service instead of a recall, or that Nissan is refusing to recall the Pulsar over similar issues to what VW is having. Instead opting for a service campaign.

          • hnsfg

            No Andy, I’m not forgetting, those brands and issues are not relevant here because those problems you mentioned are being FIXED by a service campaign/ or whatever you want to call it. So the manufacturer is FIXING the problem. Holden is not fixing the Alloytech problems, they’ve just kept churning them out with the same issues without bothering to fix them.

            Has Holden done anything about the oil consumption problem? NO
            Has Holden done anything at all about the head problem?
            Has Holden done anything about the Coil pack problem?
            Has Holden done anything about the 180-190KW engine performing like a 140KW engine and drinking like a 240KW one?

            And this all on a engine that has been out for about 8 years now.

          • MD

            @hadf, your posts stink of biased rant – so you don’t like nor want to support the Aussie product – sad to be you. Not going to make an difference to those who continue to buy the Commodore because it is built for Aussie conditions, is as reliable as anything else on the road and doesn’t look like a tin box on wheels!

          • Poison_Eagle

            Whats with the attack? I support Aussie products almost zealously, but his posts are based on factual reports, and therefore devoid of bias. V6’s have never been a real strength for Holden, just as the pre- AU head gaskets on Falcons, early ball joints on Territorys.
            Conversely we’ve engineered some great things too, but everybody remembers the lemons unfortunately. There is nothing special about the Alloytec, thats for sure.
            Ecotec was far better IMHO, had more character, more response and low down torque, and despite it’s inefficient valvetrain, more economical than it’s successor.
            When you compare this engine to the Nissan VQ, Toyota 2GR, Mercedes V6, etc, it is a disappointment. Full of technology, yet utterly unremarkable.
            I hope the next Commodore (FWD or not) ditches this engine, as its the only thing that really lets it down. Something like the new 4.3L OHV V6 in Silverado would be perfect.

        • Andy Whitby

          Well if we are taking fleet sales out Toyota would go to. Lets play fair now with out fleet sales it would probably look like Mazda, Holden, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota.
          Top selling cars, we can delete the Hilux and Ranger straight away because the majority lf thier sales are to mining fleets.

          Its going to take sometime for the new models to filter through.
          $50million/year supportis tiny compared to global support and alot less then it would cost uswiththe associated unemployment and damage to the economy if the locals all packed up and left.

        • LC

          If they’re the standards you’re insisting on using, then what of Toyota?

          Without fleet sales, their HiAce wouldn’t be selling, there’d be no 78 series and the HiLux wouldn’t be in the top 5, for just a few examples.

          • hsdfg

            So? Other cars would also drop out of the top 10 with fleet sales removed, but they’d be replaced by cars along the lines of Kruder, Mazda2, Hyundai i20, Civic, CRV etc – cars mainly bought by privates that usually sit just outside the top 10. Commodore and Crude would be OUT out of the top 10.
            Regardless, Commodore didn’t even make it in the top ten last month or the month before including fleet sales – and last month was their strongest month all year.

            Also, all the other cars that rank in the top 10 also sell around the world. Commodore and Australia Cruze production is nearly all made entirely for Australia so it needs to be right up the top of our sales charts to get even remotely close to viable production numbers. It doesn’t which is why they’re asking for money all the time.

          • JoeR_AUS

            Holden was collateral damage, no major revision, from GM after the GFC! The slow sales, EOFY, was due to the market waiting for the new model and lets not forget the VE was introduced in 2006.

            The government is a partner in this as they started the But plan to rationalize manufacturers based on volume, so we don’t have multiple players supported by the Government and Taxes(us), the volume were talking of is at least 60,000 units a year.

            So we are down to three/two manufactures, but what has happened is we have now 200 different models available, so the pie is smaller for everyone. The Mazda 3, the top selling car, only sells around 40,000 vehicles a year. So, hsdfg no local manufacturer is viable any more and why? You have to be global and export based not local. This will not happen without government support and guess what every other country supports there industry as it is in its best interest to do so, even if you cannot understand it.

          • Robert Ryan

            Great Wall is the first importer to start to feel the lowering of the dollar. The Dollar will fall lower but will rise again when Bennake in N.Y, needs to stimulate the US economy again.

          • Andy Whitby

            No Hyundai would be in there, they flog to fleet like Toyota. Mazda 3 is popular with ‘user choser’ which is still technically a fleet sale. They modern day salary sacrifice if you will, which is what Holden targets.

          • Marc Coupe

            of course the commodore didnt make the top ten in the last 2 months. They just released a new model, don’t you think that most people would hold out the two months and buy a cheaper better version of a car then spend the money on a “new” car that will be out dated in 2 months. Commodore will return to top 10 this month or the next and your argument will be invalid

          • $29896495

            Actually they should going by other run outs , jumped up the list selling off old stock at lower charges. It’s a sign that people don’t want the big big car when they can get one not that much smaller for 19,999 drive away.

    • guest

      What cars are those? Floppy handling 4 cylinder mini-SUVs? No thanks, I don’t want one of those. I don’t want to be like everyone else. My life hasn’t ended – I’m not driving a boring box. I want a fun rear-drive sedan thanks.

      While everyone else is hiding away in their houses, I’m out there, on a bicycle in the cold and rain. Because I don’t want to be like everyone else. If you want to have a beige, bland econo-box, then good for you, but not everyone wants one.

      • $29896495

        Not everyone wants a “same as me Holden Commodore either”

      • bb

        You don’t need to be like everyone else, just don’t expect my tax dollars to subsidies you. GM is just trying to take as much money off the aust govt before they pull out.

        • Shak

          What dont people get about co-investment? Unless GM puts up the money in a ratio of 3:1 they wont get any money from the Government.

  • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

    Can the last person to leave, please turn off the lights & lock the front door before they go….Thank you

  • Cedar

    Opportunistic! Most of us were waiting for this to happen. Holden just waited until the time was right and then they would threaten to do what Ford have just done – close shop and take off. Quite frankly if they have decided to leave just go…dont hang about waiting for hand outs knowing full well the decision has already been made back in the U.S. to terminate production in Australia. Next thing G.M. will blame our Govt. for forcing their hand to close the factory. Boo Hoo!!! Many Australians are employed in factories that produce stuff WITHOUT govt. hand outs so why should you precious lot (G.M) think you ought to be treated differently.

    • Clem

      Just close it and let it be. Holden CEOs has paid too much. Do nothing and talk too much.

    • JoeR_AUS

      The automotive industry employees 250,000 people and generates 23billion a year of business activity. If it goes how will the government generate the revenue from taxes, gst etc? More important who will have to pay more and who will have to miss out?

      • JooberJCW

        Agree, what needs to happen is a transitional program to get the workers into other workplaces, so there’s less fallout.

        • Robert Ryan

          What other places? You will find there is none.

          • JooberJCW

            Plenty they just need to be brave and go outside their comfort zone, check out the national skill needs list.

          • Robert Ryan

            350,000 people,!!! I think the “comfort zone” would have evaporated, Those number would have a very negative affect on the whole economy. Government needs to provide a lot more support for the parts suppliers i.e export markets and make Holden export as much as Toyota is now doing

          • JooberJCW

            Not all in one go mate, start with Holden as they seem to be the first cab of the rank, and look at those smaller businesses affected in the supply chain. Better to have a plan ready sooner than later.

            The problem with export is that you can’t guarantee the car will be accepted in droves unlike toyota where in asia and parts to the west of there, they love the camry.

          • Robert Ryan

            That is correct but there is no plan. 250,000 /350,000 are going to have a savage multiplier effect on small businesses and whole communities.
            Yo do not have to export whole cars but parts. That applies to al the parts suppliers,Australian manufacturers not Holden and Ford need to get into global supply chains

    • Robert Ryan

      Yes 350,000 car industry and related jobs will be easy to replace. Not counting the ripple effect on organisations and other businesses,

  • Guesto

    Australia needs to step up funding for co-investment, we need to follow the UK model of significant Govt support which has meant that the UK will build close to 1.9million vehicles this year.

    • Robert Ryan

      UK, US, Korean, Thai etc. Only Australia follows a somewhat idiotic economic policy as regards industry which includes a lack overall planning and assistance

  • Matt

    Why is it that every other car manufacturing country has govt. support and import restrictions (tarrifs, taxes etc.) and we as a country have a hard time dealing with that here?
    Where is the level playing field?
    To those who say build what people want, what do you want?
    Top ten is a mixture of everything.
    To those who say the product is not good, have you actually driven the models that are being produced locally?
    I think you would be pleasantly surprised how good they are, only if you had an open mind and no preconceptions.

    • kf

      As a valet I can tell you that for every model produced locally, there’s an equivalent Japanese or German model that drives and feels better, lasts longer before things start to fail and sometimes cheaper.
      Whats the point of making cars locally if it costs locals more to buy than other countries we export to? like that HSV GTS thing

      • Jenkins

        I get premium vehicls through work when travelling and by far the best are the local cars. I have got to a point now, where I will ask for a Calais or G6E over an Audi.

        • Rick

          This is a joke right ?

      • Matt

        What is an equivalent Japanese or German model to VF Commodore?
        Architectural layout, powertrain, features and price?
        Your point of being a valet, what is that all about?
        The self parking feature would of benefit, less damage to customers cars.
        0-60kph times around the block from entrance/drop off to the car park?

        Hardly a real world experience of everyday driving.

      • MD

        that “HSV GTS thing” obviously scares you kf – I certainly wouldn’t listen to your recommendation in cars – parking them must be what you call a full on test drive? do you actually get any of them into any gear except 1st or reverse?

      • fk

        Im a traffic light windscreen washer and i can tell you that all imported models from Chery to RollsRoyce have windscreen wipers.
        Whats the point in having windscreen wipers in the middle east.

      • fillerup

        I fill cars up at a petrol station and I can confirm Japanese and German cars fill up with fuel better!

  • quest

    Rather than just handover cash, buy more of their cars for the government fleet.

    • $29896495

      There you go, reasonable suggestion – just don’t include Gov cars in sales figures

  • Hung Low

    Maybe it cost more to build here because of the exorbitant executive salaries payed here?

    • Steve

      They are quite low paid actually

    • JoeR_AUS

      For Toyota the union workers get 20 days long service for every year, the NSW award rate is 4.3days. Think about it after 30years you have 600days accured.

      • $29896495

        The3y are obviously offering that to keep workers. How often do you see Toyota making threats like this?

        • JoeR_AUS

          If Holden has similar, same union, that goes on the balance sheet and makes the company post a loss.

          • Max

            Oh so better pay a stupid salary to executives then support those who make it all happen and shaft them at every opportunity? Gees would hate to have you as a boss

          • JoeR_AUS

            its not or as both will be out of work.

            1700 workers with average 15years (300days) service is 153Million

          • Max

            Or a single exec with 15 million salary + perks over 10 years costs as much. Now combine the whole board of directors at Holden and see how much those cost over a single year. Won’t be far from those 1700 workers over 15 years.

            Now lets imagine all these arrogant suits have their pay cut to 1 million per year GROSS tops with all the extra money from shares going back to cushion any financial hits or some of it go as a bonus to WORKER without whom there’d be no cars built at all. I dare say that it’d help the bottom line ENORMOUSLY as well as help the workers with their financial state.

    • cv

      Holden says it costs $3750 more to make a car in Australia than it does in other General Motors factories. If they are currently making a loss on the commodore and cruze, the profit margin from importing cars will be less than $3750 (minus shipping) per car. That isn’t a lot to play with, a fall in the dollar could wipe that out.

      • $29896495

        What is being forgotten is the actual cost of the car. If it really does cost cost 3.7 more after the dollar has dropped, the car itself before labour we’re only looking at 10-15K = there’s still a lot of profit margin there. As per any of these conglomerates they are operating on several different strategies at the same time. They essentially want Aus Gov to cover their setup costs and advertising. It’s just excuses.

        • Karl Sass

          You’re right it is highly likely that the sale price is significantly higher than the base production price, but don’t forget to factor in the R&D costs that need to be paid back. The VE cost $1.5 billion to develop which is a huge amount of money that needs to be recouped on Holden’s relatively small production volumes. The vehicle costs X to produce and sells for Y, but that doesn’t mean that company is turning a profit. You then have to take out the upfront investment to which may tip you into the red, as seems to be the case. I’ve done a quick estimation based on Holden producing 510,000 vehicles in the last 6 years means the R&D costs are adding just under 3k to each vehicle. Companies who measure their production volumes in millions of vehicles are in a much better position to spread that R&D cost therefore can sell for a lower price and still turn a profit. Equally it’s that huge R&D investment in Australia that makes the automotive industry especially important.

  • Nick

    IS this a rort ? Holden has spent a load of money on sporting sponsorship. NRL , AFL and their TV ads should also say the most advanced car ever made in Australia but also the most taxpayer funded car. Maybe all taxpayers should get a car for free. Are these guys not accountable. I.e the first grant the government game them , what did they spend it on. Obviously not on technology that will make there production line efficient Just because Kim Carr is a industry sympathiser , Holden are try to get there greedy hands on some more money. ….

    As far as I am concerned they take there filthy cars and go. Enough sucking on the tax payers money to produce a product which will not make any profit.

    • JoeR_AUS

      You should read the Trade & Assistance Review 2011-12

      Every industry gets some form of assistance: eg

      Budgetary assistance by industry grouping 2012

      Motor vehicle and parts 620m
      Financial and insurance services 914m

      Tax concessions by Industry Groups

      Motor vehicle and parts 40m
      Financial and insurance services 845m

      The tax payers pay here and every first world country.

      • Rocket

        That’s why the county is in Debt for 300 billion because it is handing out money too easily. There won’t be enough money soon for health and education needs because of this handout mentality.

        • Tim

          You’ve been mislead by Abbott into think that debt is this terrible thing, when it’s not. Our economies doing rather well.

          • Fairlane

            Do you have a morgage Tim?
            Would you rather not have a morgage?
            If you have debt you have to pay it back,could you use that money for something else?
            Does not matter if its personal debt or national debt,debt s_cks.

          • $29896495

            ll countries run on debt. Eliminating debt by selling infrastructure that provides the government income was criminal. It didn’t clear the debt it just hid it. We as citizens then have to pay higher taxes to compensate for the loss of that income. The Gov. then has to either use that money as happened with the GFC but it will be a struggle to rebuild it when it can only be done by increasing tax. You don’t want higher tax, you have to borrow = debt.

          • Fairlane

            Did i say selling infrastucture was a good thing,no i didn’t
            I just stated that debt s_cks no matter who you owe it to.
            Countrys run on debt because thats the way the international banks have the system set up,to think debt is the only way to run a country is a economical brainwash.
            Do you have soap on your brain?

          • $29896495

            This is as a result of other countries doing what the Libs did. economists see it as an accepted way of running government these days. Again a dumb idea which is the result of selling everything off. The American way.

          • JooberJCW

            Lol debt is good…. wt..f..

            Debt is never good, our economy is doing well because we have less debt than those in the US and Europe, plus we are propped up by our resources sector.

        • Yetiman

          It is an investment, both major parties will do the same.

      • Guest

        Yeah! Because trying to sell a car without marketing and advertising it works wonders! Just ask Ford’s EcoBoost Falcon.

    • A Manufacturing Australia

      You are incredibly ignorant. Their production line is very efficient, building two significantly different models with, I believe six different body styles. You obviously know nothing when it comes to selling a product either. If Holden take the same approach as Ford when it comes to advertising, which is what a sponsorship is, they will not succeed. Furthermore, do some reading on how much money Holden has given back to the Australian economy even with the amount of ‘subsidies’ that they have received. 18 times the amount I believe since 2000 of so. They probably should have closed down then, and during the GFC, but they’ve stuck with Australia, providing thousands of jobs for Australians. I was actually in Adelaide this week and went past Elizabeth. I suggest you go there and ask the workers how they feel about the disgraceful attitudes people like you have towards these more than adequate cars which put food on the table for their families.

      • JoeR_AUS

        Good Blog, people do forget the human side. I have a ex work mate who will be out of work for a year next month, its no picnic esp if you have a family to support.

    • LC

      Yeah! Because trying to sell a car without marketing and advertising it works wonders! Just ask Ford’s EcoBoost Falcon.

  • Luke

    I’ve got a feeling the government will be scared to let them go (both parties) and will step up funding and find other ways to make it more profitable e.g EXPORT. Holden and the Australian government really need to make clear that Australia is one of the least government funded car making countries and the money they give to Holden/Toyota/Ford comes back to the government on a 3:1 deal. (every dollar invested to the manufacturers they give 3 back) That’ll stop all the haters

    • JoeR_AUS

      regards to the auto subsidies provided by govts $18 per annum per person Aus, approx $400 in Germany over $1k in the US

      • $29896495

        We went through that and disproved it. Germans are paying per person per car on average about $12.00. That is for companies that bring in money from overseas unlike ours that send their money overseas.

        • JoeR_AUS

          Yes and last time you forgot that Germany has 4 times the population…..

          • Rocket

            And the German car manufacturers are German owned not foreign owned like ours.

          • JoeR_AUS

            Thats true but remember the business activity stays here, the payroll tax, gst, personal tax etc and jobs of the car manufacturer and the companies that support it.

          • Robert Ryan

            What is the population of Sweden? Volvo the biggest Global Truckmaker. Scania the biggest in Europe, they build Volvo Cars there; Atlas Copco, Kockums the Naval shipyard, Ericsson, Saab Missiles and Planes etc.

          • $29896495

            Exactly, there are people on here that would have us do nothing because they feel EVERYTHING is to hard. It just takes the will to do it and succeed. You have to take that first step if you are going to walk a mile. Otherwise it’s just sit on your a** and make negative comments. NOW is the time to act. to do something. Start the ball rolling take that first step.

          • JoeR_AUS

            9.5 million in Sweden and they dont have the resources Australia has.

            Saab is still there as NEVS has bought it.

          • Robert Ryan

            That is some of the Global Corporations they have. I could on about Finland. 4 million people. .Nokia anyone?

          • $29896495

            OK they get subsidised. They are still building the wrong cars and no range of cars. With todays production lines they can run several different cars down the line at one time. Like everyone says they need volume. that means they need more TYPES of cars that people actually want to buy. Why should the gov pay more for essentially just the one car when these other countries are subsidising complete ranges of cars from multiple manufacturers. US (like Germany)for example has 3 different GM brands with as many as 20 or more different types of vehicle each, Same with Ford Chrysler/Dodge, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc. SO the subsidy just among home grown goes to 8 different brands building 160 different types of car, ute and truck. that’s not counting the outsiders.

        • barry

          A bit of spin there.Never heard the $12 figure before.Also the largest German company the VAG Group listed on the German and other stock exchanges,with 20% German government ownership.Has a larger non German % of shareholders than German.So what country claims ownership of this once German company.

          • $29896495

            No not spin that’s the number it calculates out to when you take into account different vehicle types and models. Here we have in essence one vehicle type, large car. As for VAG, the profit still goes to Germany, a shareholder doesn’t get a piece of every car every month. It does point to other comments I have made in showing the success of a Gov ownership in a company.

  • bluesoup

    Tell them they are Dreaming!!!

  • JD

    a government cash back scheme for buying locally produced vehicles would be awesome and better

  • Tom

    Why can’t we just give all this money to the workers in the factories as massive redundancy payments and stop beating a dead cow…

    • JoeR_AUS

      because its a 23billion a year industry and if you kill the car makers you kill all the business that feed it. 250,000 people!

  • delcotexas

    On their own admission so why (from copy above)

    The news comes weeks after Holden admitted it was costing the company $3750 more to build a Commodore or Cruze in Australia, compared with GM facilities in other markets, including Korea, where the Cruze was previously made, and the wagon remains built

    Holden has admitted that currently the locally built Cruze and Commodore are loss-makers for the company, compensated only by the popular, and profitable, Thailand-built Colorado ute and Korean-made Captiva SUV.

    Prop them up with the $265 million of taxpayers the funding Ford Australia could have fought for but they understand ( Ford ) they need to restructure their future and call it a day re local production understanding that introducing a new vehicle range can not be conceived over night
    I keep reading “they” should make cars that people want guess what the other myriad of car importers Do .

    The threat gives us the money or we will finish up does not where with me just go back 2 months their tune was very very different, dynamics have not changed that greatly for them , they are playing a game they knew exactly what they had in mind 6 months a go things are planned well in advance on a gant chart if this happens we will do that


    People at the coffee break this morning said rather unemployed rather than my tax dollars going toward a declining industry,,,,,,,,,,Sad the effect on the inline business’s but G.M. and Toyota and the Australian Government must be more future innovative rather than churning out same old same old

    Holdens future as written by others is already cast giving them the $265 mill just goes to their bottom as do redundacy’s

    Theres no saving

    • $29896495

      I’m in agreement with you. They complained that the dollar was too high. It’s falling substantially and now the economy is no good?

      • Karl Sass

        Huwtm I recall you saying that we should have a locally owned automotive industry. While I strongly agree with you in principle, my opposition is that I can’t see how it would be funded. Even if you had 100,000 people buying into a company at $1000 each its still nowhere enough to establish a car company. My question to you is how do you propose the model would work (private or publicly owned)?

        (This is not a tongue in cheek comment, but a genuine enquiry).

        • $29896495

          Simply government established – they own the land and the factories that Ford and Holden use. They like any of these small companies buy tool for out going models for cents on the dollar. We have the brains and man power to modify that tooling into whatever we want. Should be in the charter that the company can never be more than 49 % public owned. This provides the government income, jobs, exports, ancillary jobs, taxes. Doesn’t need to be restricted to one model and it’s variants. One moves out (car company) exclude them from the market for a while. Allow the home grown company to get it’s feet. Just some ideas.

          • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

            By saying the car company/s cannot own more than 49% is bordering on nationalising the car industry. No one will do that, it is political suicide, cast you mind back to 1949, the then Govt wanted to nationalise the banks, they got crushed at an election.

            As much as I understand what you’re getting at, both Holden & Ford in Australia have the same fundamental problem. And that is, they cannot sell enough cars to remain viable. Even with higher productions cost’s, if the volume increased, economies of scale would come into play & aid the bottom line.

            However, both Holden/GM & Ford here are controlled by their masters in the US, who WILL NOT allow them to manufacture vehicles that can be sold world wide.

            When it is all said & done, I dont think there is one car manufacturer in the world with a market the size of ours who is able to sustain their business based virtually solely on domestic sales.

          • $29896495

            You didn’t read what I wrote. Car companies can do what they want. But our Australian car must remain as THE Australian car. so it can never be sold off to private enterprise. I’m saying that if these companies move off shore they should be excluded from the market. that in essence Australia already owns the plants. If they go, give them cents on the dollar for dooling and we go from there. The cars would be cheaper and better. and made for Australia and once established we can export.

          • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

            So the Australian Government & the taxpayer has to support an industry that already doesn’t have enough sales.

            It doesn’t matter how or what you change, short of banning the importation of foreign cars Ford & now Holden cannot generate enough sales of locally produced cars.

            Admirable idea, but no Govt will back that, they would not have enough money

          • $29896495

            You keep peddling your own agenda. It’s not supporting anything existing. It’s creating a new industry from the leavings of those companies Ford and Holden that want to bail. What this does is create a new FULL range of cars initially using cast off platform as as a base and going to export.

          • $29896495

            Additionally they survived from the early twentieth century to now, innovating and creating. They can still do it if they want.

          • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

            They survived because they had virtually no competition with the market to themselves.

            Back in 1968, the then MD of Ford Aust, Bill Bourke, who was the man behind the Falcon GT, said at industry meeting that within 20 years, Australian carparks will be full of Japanese cars & this will cripple the local industry.

            Aside from getting crucified at the time for saying that, he was & is right. What he got wrong is that he didn’t know that Korea would be a bigger factor.

            huwtm….I too agree there needs to be a local industry, it’s way too talented to just let it slide out the back door, but its expand & export or die.

            Unfortunately as the owners of Holden & Ford are US based, they will always protect themselves first.

            We simply do not have the population to support the number of cars being sold here

          • JoeR_AUS

            Agree, in the 70’s Australia was in 10th place, now dropping and at 28th place in the World

          • JoeR_AUS

            The trouble is GM owns Holden, so if they close down the factories. The engineers, designers etc would still work for GM. The dealers would still continue and still use the Holden name. So all that would be left is the Factories and there workers with no car to build. You would need to start from scratch, design, engineer, build etc with no staff. You would have no engines as that is a separate GM company and would you want a factory that can only build 6 cylinder engine? Plus you could not build the GM six without royalties to GM. Also you would have no gearbox’s diff, autos, In fact it might be easier to start from nothing……

            Might explain why the NLP are walking away from it.

    • JoeR_AUS

      The debate has to move to more than propping it up, with 200 models in Australia the volume is to low for a local only business. Ford know this and has chosen to use Thailand, Holden is on the ropes and will never get the volume it needs.

      The industry is declining as the Federal government has failed in developing the industry from the But plan, ALP and NLP.

      • $29896495

        How many times do I and others have to write it. The Locals Holden and Ford set this up years ago. They want the tariffs dropped. They thought it would be great for them. The back story is they can eventually move off shore. And they are. It really is a simple plan which has been taking shape for years. Gradually strip away the models, then it becomes unviable and you have the excuse to go. Receiving subsidies all the time.

        Ford thinks they are smarter than everyone else and by killing manufacture and keeping design they hope to keep their tax benefits and ZERO tariff eligibility. But as you and I know they should NOT be eligible.

        It’s typical of US companies, like this they think they can have their cake and eat it too.

        • JoeR_AUS

          Brilliant, so Holden and Ford convinced the government to drop tariffs, But Plan, and ask for subsidies. So they could fold and all the Government, Australian Staff and Industry just went for the ride never suspecting a thing. US companies they are so clever!

      • $29896495

        lso there has always been a full market here. Saying it’s because there are 200 models is a furphy.

        • JoeR_AUS

          I said there was 200 models here, nothing about full market.

          If you have 200 models, as oppose to 100 models, the market slice or pie available is smaller for every Manufacturer. Mazda 3 in 2012 had 44128 sales for a record year of 1.1m vehicles sold in Australia. These numbers are not viable for local manufacture only.

    • bb

      So the cruze and commodore are selling for a lose, but they can be made for $3750 cheaper overseas. Are holden implying that they only make a $3750 profit margin (minus shipping cost) per car?

  • Karl Sass

    Let’s be very clear about this; there is no such thing as a level playing field or free trade, it’s a myth especially in the automotive industry. It is firmly in the national economic interest to have vehicle manufacturing here. Especially so when those subsidies are amongst the lowest of any car producing nation in the world.

    A quote from Macro business dot com ” The Germans also subsidize their car industry to the tune of about $US95 per capita. A far cry from Australia’s $AUD18. Not quite the $US260 the Americans pay per head.”

    Assume Holden had the money doubled (unlikely) and we subsidies the industry to the tune of $50 per head, the industry assistance would STILL pale in comparison to that of our car producing opposition. That’s before you consider Germany has triple the population of Australia, the US more like 15 times more. That’s serious money going into their industries. This begs the question why do they do it? Is it because the US and Germany are stupid? The exact opposite. We’re the stupid ones letting the manufacturing industry whither away.

    • matt

      “Especially so when those subsidies are amongst the lowest of any car producing nation in the world”

      Do you not see your own counter argument there?, the Americans provide assistance to THEIR OWN manufacturers, likewise the germans, we are subsidising foreign companys. If holden was still ours and it exported a range of vehicles to the world the Australian public might be more inclined to support the industry, But they don’t,??? Im all for having an industry in this country and I also think it is necessary for our long term future, but the parent companys of our manufacturers keep a stranglehold on them, adding to the Australian publics impatience with the whole saga.

      Add to that our factories geared to make around 100,000 cars a year are supposedly outdated, VW, Hyundai and even toyota have said before you need mega factories pushing out around 200,000 of the same car a year to get proper economies of scale, (for the cheaper end of the market at least). Ford sold 68,000 f-150’s in june in the states, VW sold 22,000 faulty golfs to the poor german people, that’s in their home countrys alone, we sold what 1500 commodores with no real export plans? You have to admit its coming to a point where the manufactures do have to pull their finger out and announce a solid plan for at least the next 25 years (approx. 5 model cycles) THEN they can start asking for more money, because although im not against assistance, half a billion for one company is abit much, Christ ford made the BA falcon with only around 500 million??.

      • Karl Sass

        BMW and other foreign companies manufacture in the US and they still get assistance and protection. It’s a null argument, the term ‘their industry’ refers to the country where the economic activity is taking place.

        I’m not disagreeing with you, it would be great to have a locally owned manufacturer but it’s not going to happen because it’s too expensive to establish. The reality is that we have a choice between a foreign owned manufacturer or none at all unfortunately. You’re absolutely right, we need a plan to increase production volumes, but that isn’t easy when the can’t export because other countries have various ways of stopping imported cars. The companies will increase their production here if it’s profitable to do so, at the moment it simply isn’t. The low tariffs and subsidies are a contributing factor to that. Not sure where the half a billion figure came from, even though it sounds like a lot in isolation it’s not when you consider the scale of the industry. In the previous 12 years Holden spent $32.7 billion dollars (Source: Crickey, Car subsidies: Should Australia keep Holden on?). Of the money spent $21 billion was on suppliers, and $5.7 billion directly on wages.

        • $29896495

          Again the choice is we do it ourselves, If billions is support where directed at a revitalised Ford or Holden plant making and Australian brand it would work. The other issue you brought up was companies receiving benefit from home while building OS. You left out that the Profit goes home. Same as here. The profit when there is any (REMEMBER any current loss from Holden is because of launching VF) goes to the US it doesn’t stay in our banks and the country doesn’t get richer.

      • Max

        BA Falcon is basically a modernization of the AU. Same platform where they put new interior, drivetrain and reskinned the face and tail. 500 million for a comprehensive facelift? Exxy if you ask me.

    • $29896495

      OK they get subsidised. They are still building the wrong cars and no range of cars. With todays production lines they can run several different cars down the line at one time. Like everyone says they need volume. that means they need more TYPES of cars that people actually want to buy. Why should the gov pay more for essentially just the one car when these other countries are subsidising complete ranges of cars from multiple manufacturers. US for example has 3 different GM brands with as many as 20 or more different types of vehicle each, Same with Ford Chrysler/Dodge, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc. SO the subsidy just among home grown goes to 8 different brands building 160 different types of car, ute and truck. that’s not counting the outsiders.

  • Dave W

    Oh yeah… ask the workers to take pay cuts while the bosses are still sitting on 6+ figure salaries.

    • $29896495

      By the way, our car workers don’t receive any more than any other country when those countries cost of living index is taken into account. Why should they end up being paid less than they are worth?

      • LC

        Then you better start lobbying for the government to work on lowering the cost of living, because as long as it remains significantly cheaper in real terms to pay a Chinese/Indian/Malaysian/Korean/Whatever employees to make things, the more of our manufacturing industries we’re going to hemorrhage.

        • Dave W

          The only haemorrhaging we’re doing is happening at the top, not at the bottom.

          The workers are just doing what they’re told. If a company is in trouble, it’s because of the bosses who made the decisions.

          The large sedan sales has been on the decline for years, but what did Holden bosses decide to do? Make a new large sedan.

          Manufacturing too expensive? Spend millions on sponsorship.

          What happens when the money’s running out? Ask for more govt handout and sack the workers and ask the remaining to take a paycut while still keeping their 6+ figure salaries.

          • $29896495

            Yep to the point.

          • Cars

            Why are people so quick to complain about money spent on advertising…… Unless you are Ferrari, if you want to sell cars you MUST spend good money on advertising. To think otherwise is plain silly.

          • Dave W

            Holden is a household name in Australia. Having the logo plastered all over a footy game isn’t gonna help them penetrate the market any deeper.

          • Dave W

            Holden is already a household name in Australia. Having its logo all over a footy game isn’t gonna help Holden penetrate the market any deeper. That’s a waste of money.

          • Sheldon

            U mean 8 figure salaries, plus stock options, and $75 MILLION golden parachutes.

        • $29896495

          Don’t you know they can’t lower cost of living because that would mean they can’t tax as highly and because the liberals sold off all the infrastructure there is no other means of getting money other than taxes.

          Additionally with our falling dollar we’ll be equivalent to those countries very soon if not below them. Which begs the question why is Holden whining about cost of building a car NOW?

          • LC

            Then I think that’d be a case for smaller government then huwtm. It’s too bad that, depsite all his big talk about it, it’s not something Abbott will deliver.

            DaveW, yeah, let’s not have Holden spend money on marketing and advertising. Just ask any Ford Australia employee how that’s going. And they are building a smaller vehicle too, and are asking for more local input in the new model.

          • Cars

            You are so ignorant. Most recently it’s been Labor governments selling off assets – just look at QLD & NSW most recent Labor governments. Shouldn’t be surprised, you never bring facts.

    • Sheldon

      We WISH they were only 6 figures. Try 8.

  • Brayden Cresswell

    Seems as soon as a Holden story the usual trolls love to put there two bobs worth or tell Holden how to run a multi billion dollar company no wonder this country is going to the toilet with no one supporting there local manufactures anymore hopefully the vf keeps them in the game and they won’t be another import like everyone else.

    • Dave W

      I want to support a sustainable company which makes products that most people want to buy.

      The support should come mostly from consumers buying their products instead of govt handouts.

      They can’t even pay their workers and they still spent millions sponsoring sports. Why? So their executives can get free owners box seat with all expenses paid? Pfftt…

  • Cars

    Holden meant a great deal to Australia. Toyota means more. If Holden can’t secure a stronger export market for their local product they bye bye Holden. Don’t think cars are the only thing we can manufacture here and don’t think Toyota is going elsewhere any time soon.
    No more tax dollars for GMH!

    • Rocket

      With Ford going and GM likely to follow why would Toyota stay losing money and rely on handouts to stay afloat? Toyota cannot survive alone.

      • Cars

        Less competitions means more sales. Watch and see Toyota increase it’s manufacturing here as soon as conditions are favourable globally.

        • MC

          Toyota has already indicated that they cant survive without Holden, since they too loose money on every car they make and because they share many parts suppliers (who would go bust without both Holden and Toyota to supply).

    • LC

      The VF is the make-or-break model for the local industry. If it flops, Holden goes, and if Holden goes, Toyota will go too, because they’re selling even less units, and we’ll wind up getting a Malaysian-made Camry and Aurion.

      • Cars

        You are so wrong. Toyota has a massive export market for Camry and Aurion. Camry is no1 in the midsize segment here. They are not going away unless something huge happens. If Holden goes under Toyota will sell even more cars here.

        • LC

          Toyota’s local manufacturing operation has been a $400,000,000 loss, with the companies profits coming from imports and parts sales.

          It was actually in the news two weeks ago, look it up. I’d link it, but CarAdvice blocks posts with links in them.

          As I said, if Holden goes, they go too, Guaranteed. And from what I read on the article, the same applies in reverse.

          • Cars

            That makes no sense. If people are not buying Holdens, they will be buying more of other brands. Toyota’s are the biggest sellers in Australia. If anything their market share, including Aussie made cars, will increase. Guaranteed. To suggest Toyota’s fortunes are directly linked to Holden’s in a negative sense is illogical.

          • LC

            The words of Holden’s boss, not my own. One local car manufacturer isn’t going to cut the mustard. If one goes, the other goes.

            Their best selling cars here are the Corolla and HiLux. Their next best seller is the Camry, of which they sold (drum roll please) LESS THAN HALF the amount of Corollas.

            Their local operation is operating at a bigger loss than Holden’s ($400 million versus $152 million last financial year). Their market isn’t big enough, and the biggest potential export markets either make their own versions of the Camry/Aurion, or tariff the imports so high it makes it unfeasible.

          • Cars

            Do yourself a favor and look into Toyota exports.
            Also – do you honestly think Devereaux isn’t putting spin on his statements? He is trying to pressure the government, and while that’s in his career interest, it’s not in the interests of the tax payer. So he is trying to spook people into thinkin it is.

          • LC

            I doubt they’re spin. For one, parts suppliers for local manufacturers would have a even smaller market to sell to, and either close down, or stop offering parts to local manufacturers and strictly offer parts to overseas manufacturers. Either way, the last Aussie car-maker left standing won’t be standing for long.

            But even if Devereau’s comments are spin from Holden’s PR dept, Toyota Australia’s $400,000,000 loss is not. Even with their export plans, they’re still pulling huge losses. How? Good question. Only Toyota can give you a definite answer.

  • bb

    Holden, here’s an idea, halve your prices and you will more than double your sales. Also your margins will improve as you will get economies of scale in your production.

    • Rocket

      Holden are already the price leaders so your theory is not correct. Halving the price would mean they would have to halve their costs. Good luck with that.

      • bb

        Really Rocket, Holden are price leaders and everything is rosy is it? The current business model is broken. Something needs to be done if the business is to stand on its own two feet. Holden’s are obviously not cheap enough to attract the volumes needed to be sustainable. If they could increase volume sold then they could achieve some economies of scale in their manufacturing and regain some of the lost margin. Charging $90k for a top of the line HSV isn’t working. Drop the price to $50k and you’ll have people queuing up for them.

        Given people are continually justify paying more out to the car industry
        because of the benefit to the broader economy, if we turn it into a
        volume game, it will really benefit these folks.

        • JoeR_AUS

          Holden will only get the volume it needs by exporting, Holden sold 8000 cars in January, GM sold 300,000 cars in January for China. We can tinker with price and government assistance but the local industry must go global. Which means we need to build global car not a local one and try to export it.

          • MC

            Holden needs to export their cars but unlike Australia, other countries actually protect their industries. Most other countries have higher tariffs or other forms of taxes (making the commodores far more expensive than their local products).

            Holden is working on an uneven playing field. I say bring back higher tariffs, make those overseas manufacturers pay for the privilages, especially cars made in lower wage countries i.e. Korea, Japan and America or cars whose government give out more subsidies i.e. Germany and America.

        • Rocket

          All I can say is “Break Even Point”. Holden need to start charging BMW prices at the volumes they currently move. Trying to compete with Hyundai is not where Holden should be as the Koreans will always be cheaper. The new GTS should be 150K and it would still be a 100K cheaper than a E63 AMG. If they could lift the quality higher why not?

    • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

      Great idea…not. How do they cut their price by 50%, when the break even cost is greater than 50%.

      Economies of scale will not cover the loss, maybe get some idea of business costs & break even points before making comment

      • bb

        Holden are already selling their cars below break even, hence they need the assistance. The point is their prices aren’t good enough to get the sales volume they require.

        My understanding is we are keeping the company going due to the benefits to the broader community e.g. parts supplies etc. If this is the case lets do it properly. The current way of doing things isn’t working.

  • dariop

    I’m all for supporting Holden on one condition. The taxpayer ends up owning the facility, equipment and the IP etc in case GM eventually pull out. That way we can go it alone if we wanted to.

  • scotty

    The Aust gov whoever gets elected needs to increase TAX/Tarrifs to imported products. This will then allow the local car manufacturers or even ANY local manufacturer improve its profitablity and sustainability in Australia. Give tax incentives to tax payers for supporting the local building/manufacturing industries.

    • Alasdair

      Do that and other export industries will suffer as other countries introduce tariffs on other Australian products. What we need to do is redirect that labour into agricultural production, something Australia is good at. People don’t buy many of our cars overseas but they certainly buy our beef, grain and so on

      • Gerard

        Trade barriers apparantly stop us exporting cars to some of the potential markets.. Ford exports the Territory to Thailand and they put a 50% tarrif on it. Meanwhile we put zero tarrif on cars we import from Thailand.

      • LC

        Did you know that Japan, who supplies most of our imported cars, actually tariffs all imports in their country by between 40 and 60 percent, and have been doing so since the 60s? Did you know that in Thailand, where Ford exports the Territory, it cops a whopping 50% tariff, yet the Thai-built HiLux, Ranger, Triton, Navara and Colorado utes are only tariffed by 5% in Australia?

        Every car-manufacturing country on this planet either tariffs imports, offers tax breaks or refunds on locally bought models, or both. The question isn’t why are they doing it, but why aren’t we?

        We cut our tariffs on the understanding that other countries would do the same. They didn’t. Now our manufacturing sector is suffering for it, and not just cars mind you.

        If we produce a car, all imported ones in that market segment should face a 15% tariff. If we produce two, all imported ones in that market segment face a 30% tariff, if we build 3 or more, 45%.

  • Chevrons

    Instead of giving the money to Holden, if the government want longevity in the automotive industry and help thousands of jobs, why doesn’t the gov offer incentives to the public to buy them. Eg to pay for 5 years servicing for all new Holden’s sold? Based on 60,000 sales and $500 service, per car, per year, this would be $150Mil over 5 years. A better use of tax payers money in the economy for longer?

    • Rocket

      If the Government had a brain they would buy more Aussie cars too.

      • Gerard

        Free rego would work.

        But if you are worried about paying out your taxes to support the car companies, think about how much tax the goverment would need to find if they loose these car companies… the benifits are big. Even if these car makers don’t pay tax (im not sure if they do or not since they are losing money) the amount of money paid to employees and the taxes they pay is so much more than the subsidies being paid by the tax payer, not including parts suppliers. Think about what selling 80,000 Hyundais will do for the ecconomy as apposed to selling+building 80,000 cars here (even at a loss). You will pay more tax in the long run if you import the cars rather than build here.

  • billy

    why would i fork out my money on a new commodore when i and every other working australian has paid for the car already to be built, doesn’t make any sense they should be giving what we’ve already paid for too us

    • Tim

      I would estimate that you individually would have paid the equivalent of one Holden badge over the past year. That’s how little funding our car industry gets.

  • Rocket

    If GM does pull the pin like Ford will GM cars still be called Holden or will the Chevrolet badge come back to our market?

    • JoeR_AUS

      Good Question, I think they will continue using Holden as there might be a back lash against GM.

  • JamesB

    Holden should ask execs to take pay cuts, not more money from the government. Those head honchos ought to do the right thing. Reducing salaries from ten lifetimes worth to five is still bloody good.

  • Campa

    No. No more money. How much will they ask for again in a couple of years time?

    • Doc

      A few hndred million. Or how ever much they can bleed from state and fed govts.

  • marc

    Kill two birds; Replace the Baby Bonus with a Holden Bonus!

  • john

    It is time holden changed their business name to “OLIVER”. “Please Sir can I have some more”. There is no shame anymore. Have some dignity for once and try and run your company without continual handouts or is that too much to ask of a private company!

  • localocal

    manufacturing cars at and selling at a loss is not really a good business model.

    GM should have a better campaign introducing VF to the global market rather than starving the VF within Australia.
    imagine where Holden would be if the VF is in GM’s portfolio in china?

    • LC

      China and Japan heavily tariff imported cars. That’s why we’re exporting them to the US and throwing limited numbers into Europe.

    • $29896495

      Would have to be built in China to have any chance. But not enough rear leg room really so would probably fail.

    • Shak

      Well the previous VE gen Caprice was sent over as CKD to China and built as the Buick Park Avenue.

  • Jon

    No don’t give them any money, THEY MISSED the boat when they had to buy a engine from NISSAN FOR THE VL COMMODORE. And then they gave you that old V6 for the VN, it was already passed its used by date. For god sake they have been asleep at the wheel for the past 20 years.

    • john

      The government is largely to blame. They can’t have it both ways. They want manufacturing to remain here,yet throw moderate tarriffs out the door opening us up to cheap competition that we can’t compete with. Asian nations protect their industries,rightly or wrongly,yet our companies enjoy 5% tarriffs…….what a joke.
      Rudd and all his predesesers need to stop pretending they’re for local manufacturing when they,along with the unions, have created conditions that make it impossible for companies to remain here,

      Ford is leaving because Australia has nothing they want. That they stayed for so long is amazing.

      • Max

        Unions are to blame for the costs? Please! US head honchos won’t let us export in sufficient numbers, those same honchos continually take pay rises while demanding people take pay cuts. US corporate bosses are disgrace who take more and more while delivering less and less. FoMoCo US wouldn’t allow Ford Australia to export the Falcon to Middle East and US just to protect the manufacturing of a POS Ford Crown Victoria which has been obsolete for over 10 years. I agree about having tariffs that we should tax imports heavier if we want local product more affordable then it is. USA has been a wrecking ball of the world economy.

        I for a long time had been of belief that we need to re-establish a 100% locally owned car company but one which would be controlled by government. Nationalize the roads and communications infrastructure. Undo the damage Libs have caused by selling it all off.

        • $29896495

          No point exporting something people don’t want to buy. Crown Vic is long gone, so that point is irrelevant. Neither company Holden or Ford were meant to stay here once they convinced the government to reduce tariffs. Ford are first to go, but Holden will follow in time. If they intended to stay they would have been producing more relevant products before 2000

          • Max

            Large car doesn’t sell? Tell that to BMW 5 series and Mercedes E-class. When you have more engine options available it will sell.

            Those cars sell in Middle East like hot cakes.

  • Greg

    why do the bogans need more money

  • Poison_Eagle

    OK lets look at what SHOULD happen here.
    IMHO, the Coalition’s heavy handed approach would have a good effect if Holden wasn’t owned by GM- but as it stands, GM doesn’t really care if they make cars here or not.
    If Holden was wholly Aus-owned, the Coalitions approach would be effective in forcing them to become leaner.
    There needs to be an independent peer-review before any money is dispensed- I can’t believe this has been neglected for so long.
    The kinds of cars they intend to make need to be INTESNLY scrutinised, and there should be some pay cuts to management, all other options explored. If Labor can cut the grant down by say $100m, then it could work. I have some suggestions :

    – Give the next Commodore more platform derivatives, and smaller engines- maybe a $25k entry price.

    – We need to kick start LPG! Re-introduce incentives, and only subsidise new models like an LPG Camry hybrid, or a 2017 Commodore with Voltec architecture on LPG.

    – Streamline components and freight, so our local Camry and Commodore can share more parts- There must be enough overheads to cut here to offset the penalty of making cars here.

    – A 25% paycut to management, with performance based incentives. If this is only GM’s jurisdiction and not our governments, then the system is inherently corrupt.

    -Re-negotiate rescuing Ford Australia (ok maybe thats a stretch but it would be great)

    Kim Carr seems to have the passion for the role, but we really need something dynamic and unprecedented to keep our industry in the hunt, aswell as self-sufficient.

    • Karl Sass

      Great comment! I still think Holden should reintroduce the Crewman, look at how well dual cabs are selling at the moment (and they sell for 40k+). But you’re right they need some sort of ‘halo’ green car to hang their hat on, would go a long way to bolstering public support.

      • LC

        They’d have to go back to building a whole separate platform to build the crewman on (like they did last time), else it’d be just like the plain old Ute: No load capacity, therefore, pointless other than as a recreational vehicle. It’d also have to be 4wd with high ground clearance to compete with the likes of HiLux, Triton etc, not to mention to avoid damaging the body over rough terrain. I very much doubt that GM would green light it, considering it would cannibalize Colorado sales, even more so when they build it cheaper than Holden ever could by doing it in Thailand.

        A green model will go far, though. A plug-in Hybrid Commodore could turn the fate of the large sedan around, particularly when petrol starts nudging $2.00/litre, as it might within the coming weeks. I imagine they could borrow most of the things they’ll need out of the Volt parts bin.

        • Karl Sass

          Rather than compete directly with traditional dual cabs, the Crewman would be a niche dual cab in that it’s more car-like than a traditional dual cab (in the same way the ute is more car like than a 2wd Hilux). Plenty of people buy the SS utes with 500kg payload while the base ute can carry 880kg, so a dual cab with 880kg payload and a smaller tray should be no issue for many buyers. It could use an uprated version of the IRS straight out of the ute. An SS dual cab would have the market to itself, very unique vehicle and it wouldn’t cannibalise Colorado sales because it is more geared to the private market then business/fleet market. They could offer the country suspension pack for it like they do on the Commodore. There is a ready made market for dual cabs.

          Unfortunately people are weary of anything that doesn’t run on petrol. Few people use the E85 compatibility on VE’s or pick the LPG option despite being cheaper and cleaner, similar story for hybrid. A plug-in hybrid Commodore on lpg would be a brilliant car but I doubt the public would buy it in viable numbers. I only just recently convinced a family friend to try her MY12 VE on E85 after much debate, it would be great if people would be a little bit more enthusiastic about new tech.

          • LC

            Hmmm, a niche Crewman, novel idea. But again, getting that past the GM bigwigs is easier said than done.

            When it comes to LPG…myself, I’ve heard way too many horror stories of LPG cars just bursting into flames to want to touch it. Besides, I like being able to use my car’s boot to the fullest extent it offers (including the use of the 60/40 rear seat), rather than having it limited by a big metal tank.
            You could sell me E85 though, but only when it’s much more widely available, and as long as it’s priced to be cheaper than petrol, taking into account it’s reduced energy density. Most servos that stock E10 price it at 2cpl cheaper than regular unleaded, but to actually get a saving, it needs to be about 6cpl cheaper.

            A fun to drive Plug-In-Hybrid Commodore (running on Petrol LPG, E85 or Diesel) with the sports body-kit could go a very long way to turn the negative green-car image around. If they then went and made Ute and Wagon versions of it, it’d be a huge leap for green-cars, and Holden would be guaranteed a future.

          • Karl Sass

            Yes I agree, getting investment approved for Holden would be a difficult task. Why would E85 need to be widely available when the car runs fine on standard petrol and is completely interchangeable on both fuels? The issue as I see it is that people don’t use it even when it is available. Yes the economics the E10 are questionable, but it is a cleaner, domestically produced fuel with higher octane rating. Last time I checked (a while ago) E85 was about $1.08 which is competitive with petrol after the lower energy density is taken into account. I am a member of a volunteer emergency service and I can assure you that petrol fuelled vehicles do ignite with sometimes tragic circumstances. No vehicle is completely safe, although I would argue that in some circumstances LPG would actually be safer in my humble opinion. It’s just that the public are much more aware of possible ignition of LPG and not with other fuels, although LPG technology has progressed faster in the last 10 years than other fuels IMO. Modern injection systems aren’t comparable to old LPG systems.

            Although I share your dream of a plug-in or similar alternative fuel vehicle, I think it would be uneconomic. For example the SV6/SS sportwagon is good looking and fun to drive and practical. Both can run on alternative fuels (LPG/E85) which either comes standard or is mostly paid for with a government grant. Despite that the uptake rate is fairly low. Maybe it would need to be accompanied with a strong advertising campaign?

  • Autoholic

    Wage cuts would certainly increase profitability. However living costs in Korea is less than Australia.

  • Max

    The only thing needed to free up funds to make manufacturing in Australia more viable is a nice big wage chop to all the fat executives who constantly were taking for the last 15+ years and gave the worker no increases. And thats happening on worldwide scale. Time to legislate against this robbery.

  • Alex

    Rather than just forking out taxpayer $$ to just prop up the local car manufacturing industry, why dont the govts change their own vehicle buying policies….I see a big amount of govt dept cars that are IMPORTED vehicles…………..since they’re spending a huge amount of money on cars anyway, it would make more sense that wherever possible, a locally manufactured car is purchased. That would do a lot more good than just throwing money down a bottomless pit!!

  • Edward

    Holden is closing so why not nationalize it is GM doesn’t want it anymore.

  • Cars

    Did I not mention “most recent LABOR governments” ??
    Obviously you can’t read properly. I guess that explains why you are so ignorant.
    huwtm called yet again.

  • $29896495

    Called BS – where do you think the “zero debt” came from Santa Clause. That was and is the Libs big claim to fame. Achieved by selling the country out from under us – maybe don’t understand the difference or maybe you aren’t Australian. Again silly person, Federal!!! Not state.Federal!! I broke my rule in not communicating with you and now I see nothing has changed. Deluded fool no more.