22 March 2012 - 16:00
Holden on until 2022, but Commodore slipping away
- Holden safe until 2022, thanks to billion-dollar cash co-injection
- VF Commodore likely to be the last entirely designed by Australians
- Holden's Adelaide factory commits to two different models until 2022
Holden fans, you may now breathe: Holden is safe in Australia for another 10 years.
But there's a catch: the upcoming VF is shaping up as the last Commodore to be designed from the ground-up in Australia, by Australians.
After that, in 2017 or 2018, the Commodore badge will likely appear on a car built on a GM global platform; ie, an American large car, rebadged and re-engineered to better suit Aussie conditions.
But the good news today, particularly for the many fellow Aussies with jobs in Holden's factory in South Australia, is that Holden is financially secure until 2022. Today, it announced a $1 billion cash injection from its American parent company GM, and a government rescue package to the tune of 275 million taxpayer dollars, all over the next 10 years.
Until 2022, Holden's South Australian factory will continue producing two different models, selected from GM's global product line-up. TopGear Australia understands that, as part of its financial SOS, Holden has already locked in these two models - although it is currently top secret.
"The two new Australian-made cars will be world-class," announced Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux. "They will be underpinned by global architectures from within General Motors and bring new fuel-saving, connectivity and safety technologies to Holden's portfolio."
Holden's South Australian plant currently builds two models, the Commodore and the Cruze. Given the Cruze's local sales success so far - it is currently the third best-selling small car in Australia - Devereux has indicated that it makes sense for it to continue being built in Australia for the long term. But, unfortunately, the future is much less certain for the Commodore.
Earlier this year, Ford Australia received its own financial CPR from the government - a $103m co-injection, $34m from the government and the rest from its American parent company. The investment will help protect its Broadmeadows factory from closing (and thus rendering many thousands of people unemployed), but the Falcon faces a similar future to the Commodore, in that the next all-new Falcon will be largely designed by Americans.