The Australian-designed and -developed Holden Cruze hatch launched locally today, joining the Cruze sedan, which has quickly established itself as one of the most popular cars in the country.
The addition of the Cruze hatch to the Holden Vehicle Operations (HVO) facility in South Australia increases daily production at Holden by 12 per cent – adding 50 vehicles a day over two shifts.
Holden says the Cruze sedan and hatch account for approximately 185 of the 480 vehicles produced every day. The HVO plant now makes 51 different models on two platforms, including nine variants, six body styles and left- and right-hand drive cars.
The addition of the Cruze and export programs has added about 300 new Holden manufacturing jobs in Australia over the past 12 months. GM Holden director of vehicle assembly operations Richard Phillips said the production capacity increase had been achieved through efficiency improvements and productivity gains.
“With co-investment support from the Federal and South Australian Governments, Holden has invested millions of dollars in our manufacturing facilities and processes to build the Cruze sedan and hatch here in Australia,” Mr Phillips said.“Over the past 10 months we’ve also continued to refine our manufacturing processes and this has seen us become more competitive and allow us to further increase production to accommodate the new hatch models.“We have also added additional component manufacturing capacity, increasing the number of body panels we stamp and the plastics we mould, which further enhances the flexibility of Holden’s manufacturing operations.”
GM Holden associate director of supplier strategy Jaydeep Solanki said the introduction of Cruze production to Elizabeth has also had a significant impact on Australia’s supplier community.
“The Cruze manufacturing program has created more than 200 new jobs in the Australian supplier community and we are now buying an additional $100 million worth of components from Australian suppliers every year so this has been a very big boost for the automotive component industry,” Mr Solanki said.
MHG Glass in Geelong supplies the new tailgate glass, Futuris Automotive Interiors supplies the seats and Hirotec Australia stamps the closures for the hatch and sedan including the bonnet, bootlid and doors.
Holden says it is now looking at a second-phase localisation program that could see additional Cruze components sourced from local suppliers.