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Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050826/bs_af...HNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian subsidiary of troubled US carmaker General Motors announced that it was cutting back production at its assembly plant in Adelaide in a move that will cost about 1,400 jobs.

The axe will fall after Christmas on the third shift at the Holden GM plant which assembles the Commodore sedan, the company said.

The shift was established just two years ago, turning the plant in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth into a 24-hour-a-day operation. About 1,000 jobs will be affected immediately, with another 400 to go in the middle of next year.

"GM Holden Ltd has made a decision to reduce the workforce size of South Australian operations to protect its future in Australia," the company said.

"The company is responding to global business conditions, increasing competition from imported brands and changes to local and export projections for coming years," it said.

Prime Minister John Howard said he had discussed the GM move with South Australia state Premier Mike Rann and would announce government assistance to workers affected by the lay-offs later Friday.

"We'll be providing some additional assistance over and above the normal assistance that occurs when people are made redundant," he said.

General Motors has been struggling to maintain market share, notably in the United States where its position has slipped steadily as high oil prices lead consumers to purchase more fuel efficient models from Japanese producers.

In Australia, Holden reported a 1.8 percent increase in overall car sales for the year to July.

But demand for the Commodore fell by six percent. A new version of the Commodore, Holden's flagship model, is under development but will not be released until the middle of next year.

Holden last month said it was ending production of its Monaro coupe for the local market.

But it recently forecast that export sales, notably to the Middle East, China and Korea, would remain strong this year.

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thats not good i kindof like holden they have bold ideas in a different day


Large car sales in Australia are down with the price of gas, same for Ford. If they made the LPG (liquified petroleum gas) option standard on the Commodore it might help. Everyone is looking for better gas mileage.
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