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Holden stands alone

By Samantha Stevens, 02 Jun 2009 Industry

Holden stands alone

It's business as usual for Holden, despite its parent company going under.

Holden says it will not be largely affected by the demise of its parent company, and says it had made preparations to go it alone in the case of GM's filing for more than 18 months.

However, it will be an integrated part of the 'new GM'.

In a statement issued through the GM website, Holden boss Mark Reuss reaffirmed that Holden is not a part of the Chapter 11 filing, and its operations, design, employees, dealers and suppliers will continue business as usual.

"Operations at Holden are unchanged in Australia and New Zealand and we expect it to remain that way," said Reuss.

"GM has clearly stated that all of its businesses in the Asia Pacific region - and that includes Holden - continue normal operations and are not directly impacted by this process in the US.

"No operations outside the US are included in the court filing or court supervised process.

"Holden is a subsidiary of GM but we are a corporate entity in our own right - an independent company under Australian law.

This was confirmed in a separate release by GM Group Vice President and President of GM Asia Pacific, Nick Reilly:

"We believe this step - which was taken with the support of the US Government - is the most efficient and effective means for New GM to emerge with substantially less debt and lower operating costs, and with our operations positioned for long-term success."

Of course, Holden has already been affected by its parent company's problems, with the Elizabeth plant forced to reduce employee work hours and roster shifts after the Commodore-based Pontiac G8 ceased its export.

However, it's new small car program, funded in part by the Australian government's billion-dollar green car innovation scheme, will be the likely saviour of the local arm.

"We intend to maintain our focus on Holden product programs and activities," said Reuss.

"That means technology improvements to our best selling Commodore range, launching the all-new Holden Cruze this month, and the introduction of our locally-built fuel efficient, four cylinder small car next year.

General Motors and the Obama administration hope to quicktrack the bankruptcy, and have the new GM up and running within 90 days.

KEY FACTS - Holden

  • Holden employees more than 6000 people in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Holden spends $500 million annually on employee wages.
  • Last financial year Holden spent $420 million on research and development - more than any other private company in Australia.
  • The Holden Commodore has been Australia's best-selling car since 1996.
  • Holden has produced more than 7 million vehicles since 1948.