Holden will not sell off its Lang Lang proving ground as previously expected.
The company today announced it will retain the proving ground for testing and development purposes beyond 2017 when it will cease producing cars for the Australian and international markets.
The Lang Lang proving ground has been operating since 1958, and it forms the basis of the brand’s development of how its cars drive, which Holden says is a key factor as to why people buy its cars.
General Motors executive vice president and president of GM International Operations (GMIO) Stefan Jacoby said the move will help Holden retain its “uniquely Australian DNA” into the future, as well as ensure “more than a handful” of Australian engineering workers keep their jobs with the brand, which will lose 2900 employees by 2017.
“We will have a home base here for design, engineering and product development here at Holden,” Jacoby said.
“This is a vital step to ensure that Holden products will continue to speak with a strong Australian accent,” he said. “It will be involved in global engineering and development as well, but mainly for Australian vehicles.
“Whether it’s earned on the proving ground or created in the GM Australia Design Centre, Holden will keep its proud Australian identity,” he said.
“This announcement means that post-2017, Holden will not only retain its Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria but will host a design, engineering and product development workforce in Australia.
“This is an important step in ensuring that Holden and its products continue to speak with a strong Australian accent now and in the future. The world over, everything starts and ends with great product.
“Our continued investment in the proving ground and the GM Australia Design Centre reinforces the strength of the Holden brand and the company’s commitment to maintaining a significant presence in the Australia.”
The announcement comes at the same time Holden put forward its plans to offer the Astra GTC, Astra VXR, Insignia VXR and Cascada convertible in Australia in 2015.