Addressing journalist in Frankfurt last week, GM CEO Mary Barra praised Holden’s design and engineering teams and promised continued investment to ensure they could keep contributing on a global scale.
“When you look at the resources that we have in Australia associated with Holden there is very capable design and technical talent, and we’re leveraging where it makes sense for them as part of the global team,” Barra said.
“From a design perspective some trends actually start [in Australia], so it’s a sensing post as well. So we’ll look for the right engineering and design activity to be integrated to support the globe.”
GM International president Stefan Jacoby insisted that even though local production of V8-powered Commodore models will conclude in about two years’ time, the local engineering division’s sports car expertise wouldn’t go to waste.
“We understand that we have extremely high talents in Australia which we can further utilise to truly adapt the vehicles to Australian road conditions, and there’s also reverse learning so all the sporty aspects of Holden will be transferred over here in Europe.
“We will utilise them here with the Opel team and Vauxhall. It’s not only a one-way street, it’s more or less a win-win situation we have here, and that drove our decision to maintain engineering capacities in Australia. That together with [retaining the] Lang Lang proving ground makes sense.”
In May, Holden announced it would not sell off Lang Lang as previously expected, while earlier this month it confirmed it would retain its powertrain engineering department “indefinitely”.