GM Holden is not for sale nor is any sale being entertained, Holden spokesman, Scott Whiffin, told CarAdvice today.
Responding to “highly speculative” claims by one media outlet that GM Holden would “probably” be sold to Chinese interests, Mr Whiffin said this was definitely not the case.
Self-styled automotive media expert and publisher of the New Zealand based Dog and Lemon Guide, Clive Matthew-Wilson, has claimed that a Chinese takeover of Holden “was a real possibility.”
“All of this looks just a little bit like self-promotion thinly disguised as complete speculation,” Mr Whiffin told CarAdvice.
“Let’s just deal with the facts – the fact is that GM is going through a process of reinvention that will see it emerge alive and well as a much leaner, more customer-focused and customer-responsive organisation.”
“In terms of Holden, what GM has said is that we are a viable, valuable and important part of its global picture. So to the answer to the question is Holden about to be sold off to the Chinese or anybody else – the answer is no,” Mr Whiffin added.
CarAdvice believes that only in the absolutely worst case scenario would Gm seek to sel off Holden, which has valuable Research and Development facilities that will be utilised by its ultimately restructured Detroit-based parent.
Seeking to make the situation absolutely clear Mr Whiffin said, “And to the question are there even discussions about selling off Holden or offering some kind of a stake a third party – no.”
Mr Matthew-Wilson, who styles himself as an internationally recognised expert on cars, said in a media release today that speculation that Holden will be sold to a Chinese company was valid, but this would not save Australian jobs.
“What the Chinese want is the dealers and the technology. The Holden Commodore would make an ideal vehicle to sell from China to America, and the Chinese could probably retail it for around 30 per cent cheaper than a Commodore built in Australia.”
“If the Chinese take over Holden, there will probably be a lot of assurances made about keeping the Australian plants going, but these will be largely empty promises.
“From day one the Chinese will start building a Holden plant in China and after a couple of years they’ll quietly close down their Australian assembly operation, leaving just a small research and development team behind,” Mr Matthews-Wilson said.
There is little to support his claims and Mr Matthew-Wilson has made similar claims, with little or no supporting evidence, in the past.
Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which assembles and sells GM cars in China, would be the most likely company to buy Holden.
But Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Andrew McKellar said it was premature to speculate about the future of Holden.
“These sorts of suggestion are completely premature and are not something we’d want to be drawn into,” McKellar said.
“It’s all in the area of total speculation,” he added.