The company promises to launch no less than 24 new vehicles in the next couple of years.
Less than three weeks after Toyota ended its production in Australia, the last-ever Holden made on the continent rolled off the assembly lines. At a special private event for employees and media, the automaker marked 69 years of manufacturing in Australia.
Holden, the second oldest transportation company in the world, assembled its seven millionth vehicle in August 2008, 60 years after the first model of the brand was launched. The final Holden built in Australia is a Commodore Redline. In total, the company has produced more than 7.6 million vehicles to date.
“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,” Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, commented. “With 85 percent of all workers to date successfully transitioning, we’ve worked closely with our people to support them.”
Holden promises it will keep at least 1,000 workers at its Melbourne headquarters and will also retain its design and engineering teams, working on local and global vehicle and transportation projects. These employees will be added to the nearly 6,000 people working across Holden’s national delivery and service network. Also, the marque’s employee transition center will remain open on the Elizabeth site for at least two years to ensure all Holden workers have “the best possible chance to successfully transition.”
“Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come,” Bernhard added. “The best way we can honor our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around.”
Part of Holden’s strategic plan is to launch 24 “major vehicles” and 36 new drivetrain combinations by the end of the decade, including a “world-class and diverse” SUV lineup, a true V8 sports car, and a new Commodore.
For more information, take a look at the press release section below.
Gallery: Holden ends Australian production
- Holden honours 69 years of local manufacturing, culminating in more than 7.6 million vehicles built for Australia and the world
- Company pays tribute to the generations of people within Holden and the supply chain who helped build a legend
- Holden to honour that legacy by building a bright future in Australia; company retains 1000 direct staff plus 6000 people across 200-strong national dealer network
- Lion brand to retain world-class Design and Engineering teams working on local and global programs; retention of Lang Lang Vehicle Proving Ground ensures Holdens will always drive and feel like Holdens should
- New vehicle onslaught continues with ongoing commitment to launch 24 new products by 2020, completely transforming Holden showrooms
- Holden’s world-class transition program has resulted in 85% of Holden workers to date successfully transitioning, setting a new benchmark in the industry
GM Holden today celebrated nearly 70 years of proud manufacturing heritage with the final Holden Commodore rolling off the Elizabeth line today at 10.45am (Adelaide time). A private ceremony for employees was held today to mark Holden’s proud manufacturing history and pay tribute to the generations of hard-working men and women who literally built the Holden legend.
From the very first Holden 48-215 to roll off the Fishermans Bend production line on 29 November 1948, to the final VFII Commodore Redline to come out of the Elizabeth factory on 20 October 2017, Holden has been a part of the fabric of Australia and that’s an honoured position that the Lion brand is committed to keeping for many years to come.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said: “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. With 85 per cent of all workers to date successfully transitioning, we’ve worked closely with our people to support them.
“Holden also appreciates the partnership and assistance of the state and federal governments, along with the unions, over many years.
“Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come. The best way we can honour our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around.
“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,” said Mr Bernhard.
Holden’s award-winning employee transition centre will remain open on the Elizabeth site for at least two years’ post factory-closure to ensure all Holden and supply chain employees have the best possible chance to successfully transition.
Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, paid tribute to the people and achievements of the Elizabeth plant: “The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them. 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.”
Looking to the future, Holden will remain a diversified business and a powerhouse of the Australian automotive industry for many years to come. Employing approximately 1000 direct employees in Melbourne and across national zone offices, Holden will also retain its highly-skilled Design and Engineering teams, working on local and global vehicle and transportation programs. This includes retention of Holden’s world-renowned Design Studios and the famous Lang Lang vehicle Proving Ground near Melbourne in Victoria.
This is in addition to the nearly 6000 people employed across Holden’s 200-strong national dealer network, ensuring Holden’s customers are continued to be looked after and all warranty and spare parts needs continue to be met as they always have been.