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GM manufacturing chief says there are no plans to send G8 production to North America

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Holden’s US export program is safe for now

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US-bound: Holden's Commodore-based Pontiac G8.

GM manufacturing chief says there are no plans to send G8 production to North America

By DAVID HASSALL 28 November 2007

GENERAL Motors’ global manufacturing chief said today that there are no plans to shift production of the forthcoming Pontiac G8 from Australia to North America in the immediate future.

Full-scale production of the Commodore-based G8 has only recently commenced at Holden’s Elizabeth plant in Adelaide, but there has been speculation that unfavourable currency rate shifts – as well as under-utilised plants in North America – was making GM reconsider future production sources.

However, GM vice-president of global manufacturing and labour relations, Gary Cowger, gave qualified support for the Australian export program to the US.

Speaking in Adelaide this afternoon, Mr Cowger said that there are no plans “at this point” to move production to either the US or a new plant opening next year in Canada, or even to China.

“There are no plans in place at all to do anything like that,” said Mr Cowger, who oversees 182 plants in 37 countries.

“Right now we’re focussed on getting the benefit of our half-billion dollar investment right here (at Elizabeth) and making sure that we have a good launch of not only the G8 but of all of the new products that (we) are launching here at Holden.

“I’m not going to make any plant announcements on locations of production. The G8 is coming on schedule (and) I think the plant is getting up to speed.

“As I went through the plant this morning, I saw the ramp-up of the production of the G8, so we’re excited about that. We are looking forward to getting those into the market in the US.

“I’ve driven the car and I think it will do very well in the market. The NVH, the ride and handling, the smoothness, the execution, the interiors, the overall fit and finish and the appearance of the product is really first class. So I’m optimistic it will do well.

“We think this is a great plant, a good workforce, the product looks good, so we’re excited about getting this up to full production here.”

Asked specifically about the affect of the strengthening Australian dollar, Mr Cowger said:

“You have to look at a lot of different things. We basically look at landed cost; currency is clearly one of them, but there’s also tariffs, shipping, a lot of other things that go into making up the business case.

“Currency would not be the one that would drive you one way or the other. You want to make sure you are in some kind of a balance with your currencies, but the (US) dollar is fundamentally falling against a lot of the major currencies, except the Yen.”

Mr Cowger would not be drawn on the potential for Pontiac versions of either the Commodore Ute or next year’s wagon variant for the US market.

“There’s certainly lots of interest in it,” he said. “There’s been no program beyond the G8 that’s been approved, but I can say there’s lots of interest.

“People will continue to look at the viability of it as long as you can make good solid business cases out of it, because they are terrific products. There is a lot of excitement about those products – in a lot of different markets.

“The Ute is a terrific new design and terrific execution of interior, materials, fit and finish. I’m very positive it will do well in this marketplace. The new product looks outstanding.”

Having just arrived in the country – chairing GM’s first quarterly global manufacturing leadership meeting to be held in Australia – Mr Cowger did not comment on the affect of this week’s change of government in Australia or its anticipated new labour laws.

However, Holden executive director of manufacturing Rod Keane noted that there are no workplace agreements (AWAs) in place at Elizabeth and the company’s current enterprise bargaining agreement is due for renewal next year.

After touring the plant, Mr Cowger said he was “very impressed with the operations” at Elizabeth, which expects to return to full capacity with the G8 export program.

“I was impressed today,” he said. “We’ve invested about half a billion dollars in this plant and Rod and the team over the last two years have done a tremendous job on improving quality, productivity and safety.

“With the launch of the new platform that we’re building here, I think that as long as we continue making progress on productivity and quality, I’m very positive about it.”

source:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf...A2573A1001D1599

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I guess it makes sense. No point of shifting it to Oshawa since it's equally expensive to build it there.

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I know you're going to accuse me of sounding like PCS... But here goes:

I'm afraid the Zeta Chevy dream is dead. I'm sorry... but If they can't justify moving the G8 to Oshawa, then that probably means we'll get a FWD Impala... The Buick and Cadillac will be LWB Zetas I'm sure... but no dice for an affordable Chevy for a SWB model. We'll see Oshawa #2 Close and #1 Assume production of a FWD Impala. The new Camaro plant will be supplanted with a Pontiac Firebird to maintain output. If they can't make the G8 in NA, they will have trouble with shortages, and insane markups, ala GTO and Solstice, the car will not, as good as it may be, take off, and Pontiac may not live.

</pessimism>

I hate to burst anyone's bubble... but it's just looking more and more like this every day. Who can you thank?

High Canadian Dollar, Low US Dollar, CAFE... the list goes on and on.

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I know you're going to accuse me of sounding like PCS... But here goes:

What the Hell does that mean? :smilewide: If you were going to sound like me you should have added this to the end of your statement. "TIC-TOCK! :AH-HA_wink: " :rotflmao:

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What the Hell does that mean? :smilewide: If you were going to sound like me you should have added this to the end of your statement. "TIC-TOCK! :AH-HA_wink: " :rotflmao:

I was debating it... but there's a difference between emulation and immitation... :AH-HA_wink:

Ah, What the Hell!

TICK-TOCK!

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I was debating it... but there's a difference between emulation and immitation... :AH-HA_wink:

Ah, What the Hell!

TICK-TOCK!

I hate to give Zeta any help, but that GM HOLDEN HACK is off his fricken rocker. There is a signed agreement between GM Holden and GM for 2 years worth of export. After that the G8 Zeta will be moved to North America, GM can't afford not to move the G8 Zeta and it's derivatives here. The importation alone will bleed them to death from OZ.

If you hear from GM (AKA: Lutz) that they will continue the importation, then set your TICK-TOCK clock to 11 PM for Pontiac. But that Holden Hack is just trying to justify Holdens existence, since they can't survive without exports happening on their end as Australia is being over run by the Japanese auto makers in their home market.

Here's a new phrase to learn about GM Holden, NO EXPORTS-NO GM HOLDEN! :AH-HA_wink:

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Why does Holden sell the Epica instead of the new Malibu? Isn't it a better car? For that matter, why does its ell the Epica in the first place?

Edited by Dodgefan
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Why does Holden sell the Epica instead of the new Malibu? Isn't it a better car? For that matter, why does its ell the Epica in the first place?

I've been wondering that myself... especially when they Turfed the Vectra in favour of it!

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Why does Holden sell the Epica instead of the new Malibu? Isn't it a better car? For that matter, why does its ell the Epica in the first place?

Because GM sold (Made Holden Buy) all it's shares of Daewoo that GM owned. Holden and Daewoo are for all intents and purposes one company now. Holden has members on Daewoo's Board. :smilewide:

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Sounds like business as usual.

I've been wondering that myself... especially when they Turfed the Vectra in favour of it!

Because Epica sells and Vectra didn't. Unfortunately, Holden couldn't give away the last Vectra model because of its high price and low content, due to certain "supply issues" with Opel. I sold Holdens for a while and our (small, country) dealership sold less than ten over a 12 month period. The Vectra, although a nice car IMO, just wasn't competitive, people either bought Camry's, Accord's or Mazda 6's because they were cheaper and/or better. Vectra was also squeezed out by Commodore because they sold in the same price range. I would have customers come to the dealership interested in a Vectra and then they would discover that they could get a Commodore that was larger, better equipped, more powerful etc and that was all it took. Vectra's demise was no surprise to anyone who tried to sell them.

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The new Malibu is also too big for the Australian market (the same size as the Commodore), the Vectra was too expensive (and too small), and as PCS says, GM Holden owns and has a hand in running GM Daewoo (a lot of ex-Holden personnel moved to GM Daewoo to re-General Motorize the company). The company has also for years been a key supplier to Daewoo, even when GM had no equity interest. There are in effect still some parochial blinders in the different GM regions (less so in NA). GM Holden could have imported the Astra and Corsa from South Africa (as BMW, Mercedes and Toyota do), for much lower cost than building them in Europe, except that GM Holden has strong links to Opel and now to Daewoo, so instead they get the Astra as a premium small car, the Commodore as a premium midsize option, and the Viva and Epica as cheaper models (there was, and still is, some consideration [perhaps pressure from NA] to sell the Daewoos as Chevrolets). With few exceptions (Corvette and Camaro) however the Australian motoring media despise "American" cars, and the return of Chevrolet, Buick and even Cadillac is not exactly encouraged (there's some daft idea that the CTS would compete unnecessarily with the Statesman, although the Caddy would be a) much smaller and b) much more expensive [based on local market pricing for luxury cars, not cost]).

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Hey, they can build it wherever they want. I can also choose not to buy it. As a current driver of a full-size RWD car built in North America with union labor (300C), all I can say is if it's not built here and doesn't support the jobs of Americans, I'll take my business elsewhere.

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have to agree with PCS here. For the short term, importing the G8 will fill a gap in Pontiac's lineup, but for the long term, it'd have to be built here. Even if they continue to sell only 30k a year, if nothing else they could run them down the same line the Buick and Cadillac will be on <LGR>, and use Oshwa for something else or close it all together.

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We've all thought this through years ago and reached the conclusion that any Zeta that becomes a volume product will have to be built here. I expect Holden to continue to build niche versions of Zeta for export as long as Zeta exists. Zetas other than Camaro will certainly be built in Oshawa, but the plant can't build all variants as it lacks the capacity.

Nothing has really changed but the currency.

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I hate to give Zeta any help, but that GM HOLDEN HACK is off his fricken rocker. There is a signed agreement between GM Holden and GM for 2 years worth of export. After that the G8 Zeta will be moved to North America, GM can't afford not to move the G8 Zeta and it's derivatives here. The importation alone will bleed them to death from OZ.

If you hear from GM (AKA: Lutz) that they will continue the importation, then set your TICK-TOCK clock to 11 PM for Pontiac. But that Holden Hack is just trying to justify Holdens existence, since they can't survive without exports happening on their end as Australia is being over run by the Japanese auto makers in their home market.

Here's a new phrase to learn about GM Holden, NO EXPORTS-NO GM HOLDEN! :AH-HA_wink:

I had no idea that the asians were gaining that much ground in Australia... Last I heard, they "couldn't build a car that appealed to the Aussies"

Oh well, I guess that's what happens when the american media shines the light on Holden... The black plague of &#036;h&#33;ty, econocars and self loathing citizens has jumped to that continent now.

But seriously; I thought Holden was GM's golden child and they were doing very well in ther market? Of course, that was before management from the states stuck their noses in it.

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The new Malibu is also too big for the Australian market (the same size as the Commodore), the Vectra was too expensive (and too small), and as PCS says, GM Holden owns and has a hand in running GM Daewoo (a lot of ex-Holden personnel moved to GM Daewoo to re-General Motorize the company). The company has also for years been a key supplier to Daewoo, even when GM had no equity interest. There are in effect still some parochial blinders in the different GM regions (less so in NA). GM Holden could have imported the Astra and Corsa from South Africa (as BMW, Mercedes and Toyota do), for much lower cost than building them in Europe, except that GM Holden has strong links to Opel and now to Daewoo, so instead they get the Astra as a premium small car, the Commodore as a premium midsize option, and the Viva and Epica as cheaper models (there was, and still is, some consideration [perhaps pressure from NA] to sell the Daewoos as Chevrolets). With few exceptions (Corvette and Camaro) however the Australian motoring media despise "American" cars, and the return of Chevrolet, Buick and even Cadillac is not exactly encouraged (there's some daft idea that the CTS would compete unnecessarily with the Statesman, although the Caddy would be a) much smaller and b) much more expensive [based on local market pricing for luxury cars, not cost]).

Seriously?!?!?!

It seems that the opposite would be true given the nature of Holden. Then again, every media, including our own HATES american cars. It's like Detroit pissed off the world for some reason.

Damn, these 'revalations' (for me) suck because I was betting on Austrailia as a last ditch effort to live when this dump eventually collapses but if it's yuppie land just like here, then I guess I'll just become an alcoholic or something... :D

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Just like those who 'swore' there would be a new Camaro for sale by 2005, or 2007. I didn't believe the ones who claimed the G8 would be 'All American' [Canadian] by 2010.

Oh well, who really thought the 60's were coming back, and Pontiac Division would build their own motors again?

The most outlandish claim on here was that GM was going back all RWD with new Novas, Chevelles, and Monzas. [With Pontiac/Buick versions too]

Next claim will be "Olds is coming back".

Edited by Chicagoland
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"because I was betting on Austrailia as a last ditch effort to live"

Of topic I know, I hear this alot, but people do not know what it is really like. Just becasue RWD sedans are for sale there doesn't mean it's "1960's America" down under. Gas is like $5-6 a gallon and taxes are high, also, it is not as easy as moving to Nevada.

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Next claim will be "Olds is coming back".

Oh that's easy to do, just put a Olds badge on a Holden, oh wait, thats a Pontiac. Oops I mean a Chinese Buick, oops I mean a MId-East Chevy, oops, I mean a Brazilian Chevy, oops I mean a South African Chevy. :smilewide:

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These revelations coupled with the report (if true) that Chevy will get an Alpha sedan over Pontiac means Pontiac's future lies with its remaining volume product, the G6. Tick-Tock will be moved to 11:59 if the new G6 isn't a volume knockout. BTW, anyone paying attention to the new CAFE regs in Congress? 35mpg sticks a fork in performance. More headwinds for Pontiac.

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