Holden has paid tribute to its local manufacturing history, as the Elizabeth Plant in South Australia closes its doors for good.

The final Commodore – a VF II SS V Redline – rolled off the production line at 10:45 this morning, ending 69 years worth of locally-built GM products for the Australian market.

Speaking about Elizabeth, South Australia, Holden executive director of manufacturing, Richard Phillips, said the it was an “honour” to work with the plant staff.

“The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them,” he said. “In the final years of production, we have been building categorically the best-quality cars to ever roll out of this plant, and our last car was our best.”

“Together we achieved a string of productivity and quality awards in recent times, doing so during the closure period is testament to the skills, professionalism and dedication of the team.”

Chairman and managing director, Mark Bernhard, echoed his sentiment, and thanked the parties who played a part in the brand’s success over the years.

“Treating our people with dignity and respect was always our number one priority during this transition and we’re all proud we were able to achieve that, we see it as recognition of their dedicated service over the years,” he said.

“Today, however, is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company.

“Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart.”

Although there will be no more locally-built vehicles, Holden is at pains to remind the world it will still have a presence in Australia. Along with 24 major vehicle launches before 2020, the company is promising a “true V8, rear-drive sports car” for Down Under.

Holden Camaro, anyone? The company will maintain its design and engineering workshops, too, both of which will be involved with Australian and global projects.

Whether that's enough to sell people on the 'new' Holden, however, remains to be seen.

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