HOLDEN is in the process of making more redundancies, this time from its national team of sales and administration staff - the first significant layoff since it shuttered local manufacturing facilities last year.
Unconfirmed reports had suggested the figure was as many as 1000 employees preparing for retrenchment but Wheels understands about 60 staff are the focus of the latest redundancies, with an exact figure and reason for the restructure yet to be confirmed by the brand.
In a statement from the company, Holden confirmed that it is preparing to let a number of employees go, but stopped short of detailing the regions affected and the deciding factors.
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“We are making some changes to our sales and administration functions,” it said. “These changes are aimed at making Holden a stronger business for the future. Our people are our priority and we are supporting impacted employees.”
The statement is a haunting reminder of the similar communications surrounding the largest retrenchment of staff in Holden’s history, when about 950 manufacturing personnel were laid off with the closure of Holden’s Elizabeth factory in October 2017.
It followed 175 losses from the Fishermans Bend engine plant a year before and 80 cuts associated with the end of Cruze production in Elizabeth ahead of the final shut down.
Sliding sales are the most likely determining factor for the lay-offs, with overall registrations falling 22.6 percent compared with the same point in 2017, driven south by the exit of the locally made Commodore.
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The company’s year to date tally makes ominous reading with every model down to the end of June compared with the same point last year, with the only exception found in the Barina small hatchback which is up almost 20 percent thanks to 1904 registrations.
The Spark compact hatch also added valuable volume and a slight increase over last year with 562 sales YTD, but that’s a bittersweet farewell to a model that has now been discontinued.
Despite the decline, the Commodore and Colorado continue to prop the company, contributing nearly 15,000 sales out of the overall 32,614 total to date in 2018.