How Holden announced its last day of manufacturing

A three-page statement sent to media has announced the final day of manufacturing

Holden manufacturing plant in Elizabeth South Australia

Here’s Holden’s statement in full announcing the end of almost 70 years of local manufacturing.


  • Holden manufacturing continues until October 20, 2017.
  • More than 30,000 vehicles to be built before manufacturing ends.
  • Nearly 70% of Holden’s Elizabeth employees have secured jobs within 12 months of leaving.
  • Holden to retain more than 300 designers and engineers in addition to 10,000 employees at Melbourne headquarters, Proving  ground, Design Studio and across 230-strong national Holden dealer network.

Holden today has confirmed it will continue manufacturing in Australia until October 20, 2017, when the final car will be built at its Elizabeth plant and Holden becomes a national sales company and vehicle importer for the long-term in Australia.

Today Holden’s manufacturing workforce in Adelaide were the first to be told the company will fulfill its 2013 commitment to manufacture vehicles at its Elizabeth plant until the final quarter of 2017.

Holden Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, said that Holden’s overriding priority is giving employees and suppliers advance notice and providing certainty.

“While this confirmation isn’t a surprise for anyone and we’ve been working toward this for nearly four years, we can now confirm the actual date for our people and our suppliers. Putting our people first and foremost has always been our highest priority,” Mr Phillips said.

“This October may bring to a close more than 60 years of vehicle manufacturing by Holden at Elizabeth but I know it will be business as usual for our manufacturing workforce until then – we have tens of thousands of world-class cars to build in coming months and I know we all want to see Holden have great success in Australia for many years to come.

“Every day our employees exhibit professionalism and passion for achieving quality. We are categorically building the best cars Holden has ever built and that is backed up by internal and external data. They simply are a fantastic team that will ensure our last locally-made car is also our best car ever.”

Holden has assembled vehicles for domestic and export markets at the Elizabeth plant since 1963 and will continue to manufacture the world-class Holden Commodore range there until October 20, with nearly 1000 employees remaining at the Elizabeth plant in production, engineering and support roles until production ends. There are no plans for any further workforce reductions ahead of October 20.

Of the nearly 700 people who have left Holden’s Elizabeth plant since 2015, 80 per cent have successfully transitioned within 12 months of leaving (69 per cent employed, 5 per cent in training, 3 per cent have retired and 3 per cent are volunteering).

Holden’s Transition Support program will continue to prepare job seekers for new careers and support those opting for retirement until well after the factory closes.

During 2016, the Elizabeth plant was recognised with two awards for safety and financial performance within General Motors International.

All Holden employees leaving the business have access to a suite of transition services and up to $3000 in approved training and $500 for financial advice - all part of Holden’s $15 million contribution to the federal government-led Growth Fund for specific support of automotive manufacturing employees.

Holden’s Transition Centre was opened at its Elizabeth plant in 2014 to provide a range of support services including information sessions, workshops, career counselling, employment expos, resume writing, interview skills preparation and more.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said Holden’s manufacturing workforce had set new benchmarks for quality and performance in the past four years.

“They have continually pushed to improve the quality of their work for the benefit of our customers – this commitment, continuous improvement attitude and passion have been exhibited in spades in challenging circumstances,” Mr Bernhard said.

“It’s not surprising that their skills, work ethic and flexibility are highly sought after and they are leaving a legacy for Holden that deserves to be honoured by ensuring this company has a bright and successful future.

“Holden continues to change but we are proud to retain a significant presence in Australia for the long-term that includes more than 300 people across our local design and engineering workforces, in addition to the approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across our dealer network. Holden remains committed to Australia and our customers for many, many years to come”.

Holden Transition Support

  • Holden acknowledges the impact the end of local manufacturing has on our people and their families, across the country and throughout the industry. We are doing everything in our power to allow our people to make considered choices and help them move onto their next opportunity.

  • Every Holden worker leaving the business has access to a suite of transition services and up to $3000 in approved training; all part of Holden’s $15 million contribution to the federal government’s Growth Fund for specific support of our manufacturing and engineering employees.

  • The Transition Centre established at Holden’s Elizabeth plant is open to employees, contractors and supplier employees.

  • As a result of Holden’s world-class transition services, about 80 per cent of people who have left the business have gone on to find other work. This does not include those who chose to retire or made personal decisions not to seek work.

  • Holden has proactively engaged with HR and business leaders in South Australia and interstate, who have toured the Elizabeth site and viewed the variety of skills and capabilities of our workforce. Employees who have secured another job have been able to access an early voluntary separation package, helping them to take up opportunities.

  • Holden’s Transition Centre at Elizabeth opened in 2014, after significant research into global best practice and consultation with employees and partner organisations.

Support and services for employees includes:

  • Up to $3000 training funds
  • Career counselling
  • Financial advice and superannuation support
  • Coaching sessions to develop individual tailored plans
  • Information on career pathways, training providers and courses
  • Industry information sessions
  • Careers and training expos
  • Computer training
  • Jobs vacancy board
  • Dedicated staff to help answer questions
  • Resume and job application writing workshops
  • Interview training
  • Networking training
  • Job search training
  • Department of Human Services (representatives and self-service kiosks)
  • Resume writing workshops
  • NewAccess program (BeyondBlue/BeyondAuto)
  • Future of Holden:
  • Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 new drivetrain combinations by the end of 2020
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and
  • customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria, along with advanced engineering capabilities
  • Holden’s Global Design centre continues to be based in Port Melbourne, contributing to local and global product programs
  • Holden will retain more than 300 designers and engineers beyond 2017
  • This is in addition to approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across the 230-strong Holden dealer network
  • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe; with vehicles also being sourced from North America and Asia
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on from 2018 with Holden’s next-generation large car
  • Home Ground Advantage, Holden’s $5 million, 10-year commitment to grassroots sporting clubs has been a huge success with more than 5000 entries since launch
  • Holden has launched the biggest Capped Price Servicing Program in the country, covering every Holden ever built.


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