GM Holden will lose one of its biggest export models following the move by United States parent company General Motors to dump the Pontiac brand, but says the move won’t affect jobs locally.
Holden produces the Pontiac G8, a version of the Commodore, for the US market.
However, in an announcement yesterday GM said it would phase out Pontiac by the end of 2010 to focus on four core brands in the US – Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.
It will also accelerate the shutdown of some American car assembly operations and cut extra jobs in the US.
Holden spokesman Scott Whiffin has told CarAdvice there would not be any impact on jobs in Australia.
“G8’s are assembled at our plant at Elizabeth SA where we have been modifying our production volumes and we will continue to do so, Mr Whiffin said.
“Notwithstanding the fact that this has only just been announced, we don’t envisage there will be any job losses at Elizabeth as a result of this decision.”
“We’ve just been made aware that GM intends to eliminate its Pontiac brand from the end of 2010 and continue with the four core brands of Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC.
“GM is having to make some tough decisions as part of its viability planning in the wake of the Global Economic Crisis and this is unquestionably one of those tough decisions.
“There are direct implications for Holden in this and specifically our Pontiac G8 export program.
“We will work with Pontiac to manage the phase-out of the G8 through to the end of next year. The announcement has only just occurred so we don’t know what their expectations might be, as the car is currently selling really well.
“It is true to say were disappointed the G8 program is coming to an end – it is a great car that has been exceptionally well received and reviewed in the US.
“It’s worth noting that we shipped more than 36,500 G8’s to North America in 2008. Our focus now is on finding new markets for what is a world-class vehicle in addition to continuing to export cars to Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Holden has already announced a decision to cut its afternoon shift from early next month with plans to run two teams on a single day shift, each working one week on and one week off.
The move will cut wages for local workers but retain the 3000 jobs at the Elizabeth manufacturing facility in Adelaide.
The company said it would also push ahead with plans to build a new small car in Adelaide from 2010.