Jump to content
William Maley

The Final Curtain: Holden Ends Manufacturing In Australia

Recommended Posts


At 10:45 AM this morning at Holden's Elizabeth plant in South Australia, the final Australian-built vehicle rolled down the assembly line - a VF II SS V Redline complete with six-speed manual. The vehicle marked the end of 69 years of Holden production in Australia with 7,687,675 vehicles built. It also marks the end of Australian car production with Ford ending theirs last year and Toyota wrapping up a few weeks ago.

Holden held a private ceremony at the plant for the 945 workers where they saw the final Commodore and three other models; Caprice V, SS Ute, and a Commodore Calais V V6 (the only model fitted with an Australian-built engine). The final four will become part of Holden's heritage collection and be shown at a heritage display on the Elizabeth site.

“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,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips in a statement.

“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 Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard.

Holden will still maintain a major presence in the country with a design and engineering center in Port Melbourne, the Lang Lang Proving Grounds in Victoria, and a sales office. Holden is also planning a major product offensive with 24 new products to be launched by 2020, including a rumored Camaro. But there are concerns about the long-term ramifications of the loss of Australian manufacturing, along with whether or not Holden can make any inroads with this ambitious product plan.

“It’s probably going to be an emotional day. It’s not the easiest thing, but life will go on,” said Kane Butterfield, a paint shop worker at the plant to Drive.com.au.

“It’s pretty tragic really that we’ve let go one of the best cars around the world. It’s an absolute tragedy.”

Author's Note: Wheels Magazine has a live blog chronicling the final day of production at Elizabeth which you can check out here. Also, you can see our review of the 2015 Chevrolet SS here.

Source: CarAdvice, Drive.com.au, Motoring, News.com.au, Wheels Magazine, Holden
Press Release is on Page 2


HOLDEN HONOURS ITS MANUFACTURING LEGACY; COMPLETES TRANSFORMATION TO SALES, ENGINEERING AND DESIGN BUSINESS

  • 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.

Over the past two years, Holden has outlined its future path and strategic priorities:

  • Beyond October 20, Holden will continue to employ approximately 1000 direct staff and an additional nearly 6000 people across its 200-strong national dealer network.
  • Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 new drivetrain combinations by 2020.
  • Holden will have a world-class and diverse SUV line-up, including the all-new Equinox hitting showrooms in November 2017 and the all-new Acadia SUV in 2018.
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on in 2018.
  • Holden will introduce a true V8, rear-drive sports car to Australia. We are building Holden’s biggest and best vehicle range ever: a true product onslaught.
  • Holden is taking a leadership position with next-generation mobility technology through Maven and OnStar, and an ability to capitalise on GM’s leadership in electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology.   
  • Holden will retain a Design and Engineering workforce of approximately 350 people beyond 2017, working on local and global programs.  
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
  • Holden’s world-class Global Design Centre continues to contribute to, design and execute local and global product programs, such as the Buick Avenir and Opel GT.
  • Home Ground Advantage, Holden’s $5 million / 10-year commitment to grass roots sporting clubs has been a huge success with more than 3000 entries to date.  

View full article

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      2018 has not been kind to Holden. Sales have been stagnant and the brand saw its worst monthly sales of 3,927 cars in July. Market share has also been dropping to below five percent during the year. Now, the brand has halted production of the Commodore and Equinox in an effort to reduce a massive stockpile of vehicles.
      According to Wheels, Holden ordered way too many vehicles before it ceased local manufacturing in late 2017. But the past year has proven to be difficult with sales dropping and causing vehicles to sit in paddocks and holding yards, gathering dust.
      “The sales were going like that,” said Holden chairman Dave Buttner, motioning to the ground. “… and the tap hadn’t been turned off, so the production’s still coming towards us - and that horrified me as an old [product] planner.”
      How bad is it? Holden has only sold 3,621 Equinoxes through the first nine months of 2018. Competitors sell a similar amount in a timeframe of six weeks.
      “You have to be able to turn production down, but the idea is that you don’t have to do that often. This is a fairly unique situation where we allowed the stock to keep coming towards us. Being an old manufacturing guy I’m fully cognoscente of the burden that puts on a manufacturing plant," said Buttner.
      “We’ve had good cooperation from the plants but it wouldn’t be something I’d like to repeat on a regular basis because from a credibility point of view you don’t build it by doing that.”
      Holden has asked the Opel factory in Germany (now owned by PSA Group) to not build anymore Commodores until next year. It is unclear if Holden asked the same for the timeframe to the GM factory that builds the Equinox.
      How is Holden planning to reduce the massive backlog of vehicles? Motoring.com.au says it will not be through a fire sale.
      “I’m confident we can finish the year strongly. There is not going to be any fire sale. Or any increase in demonstrators. If we do that then we’ll get what we deserve. We want to start next year with a clean slate, start rebuilding and get on with the job,” Buttner told the outlet.
      We wouldn't be surprised if Holden does provide some offers to help move models.
      Source: Wheels, Motoring
    • By William Maley
      2018 has not been kind to Holden. Sales have been stagnant and the brand saw its worst monthly sales of 3,927 cars in July. Market share has also been dropping to below five percent during the year. Now, the brand has halted production of the Commodore and Equinox in an effort to reduce a massive stockpile of vehicles.
      According to Wheels, Holden ordered way too many vehicles before it ceased local manufacturing in late 2017. But the past year has proven to be difficult with sales dropping and causing vehicles to sit in paddocks and holding yards, gathering dust.
      “The sales were going like that,” said Holden chairman Dave Buttner, motioning to the ground. “… and the tap hadn’t been turned off, so the production’s still coming towards us - and that horrified me as an old [product] planner.”
      How bad is it? Holden has only sold 3,621 Equinoxes through the first nine months of 2018. Competitors sell a similar amount in a timeframe of six weeks.
      “You have to be able to turn production down, but the idea is that you don’t have to do that often. This is a fairly unique situation where we allowed the stock to keep coming towards us. Being an old manufacturing guy I’m fully cognoscente of the burden that puts on a manufacturing plant," said Buttner.
      “We’ve had good cooperation from the plants but it wouldn’t be something I’d like to repeat on a regular basis because from a credibility point of view you don’t build it by doing that.”
      Holden has asked the Opel factory in Germany (now owned by PSA Group) to not build anymore Commodores until next year. It is unclear if Holden asked the same for the timeframe to the GM factory that builds the Equinox.
      How is Holden planning to reduce the massive backlog of vehicles? Motoring.com.au says it will not be through a fire sale.
      “I’m confident we can finish the year strongly. There is not going to be any fire sale. Or any increase in demonstrators. If we do that then we’ll get what we deserve. We want to start next year with a clean slate, start rebuilding and get on with the job,” Buttner told the outlet.
      We wouldn't be surprised if Holden does provide some offers to help move models.
      Source: Wheels, Motoring

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The end of the Volkswagen Beetle is coming. Volkswagen announced last week that production of the iconic coupe and convertible will end next July at the company's Puebla, Mexico. Before the final curtain call, Volkswagen will be building a Final Edition version.
      Available as a either a coupe or convertible, the Final Edition will be available with two exclusive colors - Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue. You can also get it in white, black, or grey if the exclusive colors don't interest you. Convertibles aside from those painted in Safari Uni will get a light brown top. A set of multi-spoke 17-inch wheels are standard on the SE, while 18-inch retro styled wheels come on the SEL. For the interior, the Final Edition comes with seats that have pleating. SE models come upholstered in a combination of leatherette and cloth, while the SEL makes do with leather.
      Power comes from the same 2.0L turbo-four found in other Beetles. It produces 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. 
      Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition is as followed,
      SE Coupe: $23,940 SEL Coupe: $26,890 SE Convertible: $28,190 SEL Convertible: $30,890 Prices include a $895 destination charge.
      Source: Volkswagen


      Volkswagen Announces Beetle Final Edition
      Special models celebrate Beetle’s rich heritage as third-generation is set to end production in 2019
      Herndon, VA (September 13, 2018) — Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that it will end production of the iconic Beetle in 2019. To celebrate the Beetle’s rich heritage, two special models will join the lineup for its last model year—Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
      “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. But as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, ‘Never say never.’ We’re excited to kick off a year of celebrating one of the true icons of the automotive world, with a series of events that will culminate in the end of production in Puebla in July 2019.”
      Available in coupe and convertible body styles, the Final Edition models include exclusive equipment and unique upscale décor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style. Models also draw inspiration from the first-generation Beetle’s final run in Mexico, where the vehicle is assembled.
      The 2003 Última Edición (last edition) models were only available in two colors—beige and light blue. Today’s Final Edition models will feature two unique colors: Safari Uni—a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a color from the New Beetle—and Stonewashed Blue, a nod to the 1970 Jeans Bug and most recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. Final Edition models are also available in Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, and Platinum Grey. Convertible Final Edition SEL models in every exterior color except Safari Uni are available with a unique Brown soft top.
      Final Edition coupe models feature standard chrome treatments like the Última Edición models, in addition to body-color side mirrors, heated washer nozzles (all standard features across the Beetle Convertible lineup), as well as a sunroof. Final Edition SEL models are equipped with Bi-Xenon® headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), LED taillights, and fog lights. All Final Edition models replace the typical “Turbo” badge on the tailgate with a “Beetle” badge.
      Unique wheels complete the exterior transformation of Beetle Final Edition models. Final Edition SE models feature 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design. Final Edition SEL models are shod with 18-inch white aluminum-alloy wheels in a disc design that is reminiscent of the Última Edición’s body-colored steel wheels fitted with chrome hubcaps and whitewall tires.
      Inside, all Final Edition models are equipped with standard KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with unique “Beetle” clip, stainless steel pedal caps, Climatronic® automatic climate control, gloss black center console, a unique Safari Uni color dashpad with the classic kaeferfach glovebox or “Beetle bin” that harkens to the color-matched interior treatments in the Última Edición, and three-color ambient lighting. Final Edition SE models feature cloth and leatherette rhombus-pattern seats, while SEL models offer standard diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces.
      Final Edition SE models feature a Composition Media infotainment unit with a 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Bluetooth® technology for compatible devices, USB multimedia port, SiriusXM® radio (three-month trial subscription), Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect smartphone integration. Final Edition SEL models upgrade to Discover Media infotainment with navigation, Car-Net Security & Service, and Guide & Inform, as well as Fender® Premium Audio.
      All 2019 Beetle models, both convertible and coupe, are powered a 2.0 liter TSI® engine that puts out 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. All models are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
      To meet the demands of American drivers, all Beetle Final Edition models offer driver-assistance technology. SE models include standard Blind Spot Monitor Rear Traffic Alert. Final Edition SEL models add standard front and rear Park Distance Control.
      Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models. Beetle Convertible Final Edition pricing starts at $27,295 for SE models and $29,995 for SEL models. The destination charge for all Beetle models is an additional $895.
    • By William Maley
      The end of the Volkswagen Beetle is coming. Volkswagen announced last week that production of the iconic coupe and convertible will end next July at the company's Puebla, Mexico. Before the final curtain call, Volkswagen will be building a Final Edition version.
      Available as a either a coupe or convertible, the Final Edition will be available with two exclusive colors - Safari Uni and Stonewashed Blue. You can also get it in white, black, or grey if the exclusive colors don't interest you. Convertibles aside from those painted in Safari Uni will get a light brown top. A set of multi-spoke 17-inch wheels are standard on the SE, while 18-inch retro styled wheels come on the SEL. For the interior, the Final Edition comes with seats that have pleating. SE models come upholstered in a combination of leatherette and cloth, while the SEL makes do with leather.
      Power comes from the same 2.0L turbo-four found in other Beetles. It produces 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. 
      Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition is as followed,
      SE Coupe: $23,940 SEL Coupe: $26,890 SE Convertible: $28,190 SEL Convertible: $30,890 Prices include a $895 destination charge.
      Source: Volkswagen


      Volkswagen Announces Beetle Final Edition
      Special models celebrate Beetle’s rich heritage as third-generation is set to end production in 2019
      Herndon, VA (September 13, 2018) — Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that it will end production of the iconic Beetle in 2019. To celebrate the Beetle’s rich heritage, two special models will join the lineup for its last model year—Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
      “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. But as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, ‘Never say never.’ We’re excited to kick off a year of celebrating one of the true icons of the automotive world, with a series of events that will culminate in the end of production in Puebla in July 2019.”
      Available in coupe and convertible body styles, the Final Edition models include exclusive equipment and unique upscale décor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style. Models also draw inspiration from the first-generation Beetle’s final run in Mexico, where the vehicle is assembled.
      The 2003 Última Edición (last edition) models were only available in two colors—beige and light blue. Today’s Final Edition models will feature two unique colors: Safari Uni—a reinvention of Harvest Moon Beige, a color from the New Beetle—and Stonewashed Blue, a nod to the 1970 Jeans Bug and most recently seen on the 2016 Beetle Denim. Final Edition models are also available in Pure White, Deep Black Pearl, and Platinum Grey. Convertible Final Edition SEL models in every exterior color except Safari Uni are available with a unique Brown soft top.
      Final Edition coupe models feature standard chrome treatments like the Última Edición models, in addition to body-color side mirrors, heated washer nozzles (all standard features across the Beetle Convertible lineup), as well as a sunroof. Final Edition SEL models are equipped with Bi-Xenon® headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), LED taillights, and fog lights. All Final Edition models replace the typical “Turbo” badge on the tailgate with a “Beetle” badge.
      Unique wheels complete the exterior transformation of Beetle Final Edition models. Final Edition SE models feature 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design. Final Edition SEL models are shod with 18-inch white aluminum-alloy wheels in a disc design that is reminiscent of the Última Edición’s body-colored steel wheels fitted with chrome hubcaps and whitewall tires.
      Inside, all Final Edition models are equipped with standard KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with unique “Beetle” clip, stainless steel pedal caps, Climatronic® automatic climate control, gloss black center console, a unique Safari Uni color dashpad with the classic kaeferfach glovebox or “Beetle bin” that harkens to the color-matched interior treatments in the Última Edición, and three-color ambient lighting. Final Edition SE models feature cloth and leatherette rhombus-pattern seats, while SEL models offer standard diamond-stitched leather seating surfaces.
      Final Edition SE models feature a Composition Media infotainment unit with a 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display, Bluetooth® technology for compatible devices, USB multimedia port, SiriusXM® radio (three-month trial subscription), Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect smartphone integration. Final Edition SEL models upgrade to Discover Media infotainment with navigation, Car-Net Security & Service, and Guide & Inform, as well as Fender® Premium Audio.
      All 2019 Beetle models, both convertible and coupe, are powered a 2.0 liter TSI® engine that puts out 174 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. All models are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and the EPA-estimated fuel economy rating is 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
      To meet the demands of American drivers, all Beetle Final Edition models offer driver-assistance technology. SE models include standard Blind Spot Monitor Rear Traffic Alert. Final Edition SEL models add standard front and rear Park Distance Control.
      Pricing for the 2019 Beetle Final Edition coupe starts at $23,045 for SE models and $25,995 for SEL models. Beetle Convertible Final Edition pricing starts at $27,295 for SE models and $29,995 for SEL models. The destination charge for all Beetle models is an additional $895.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Back in December, we reported that the Cadillac ATS sedan would be no more for the 2019 model year via a General Motors VIN Decoder document. Only the coupe would stick around. Cadillac declined to comment at the time.
      Yesterday, new evidence to the sedan's departure came to light via GM's fleet order guide.
      The Truth About Cars tried to get a comment from Cadillac about this new information, but wasn't able to. That changed this morning.
      “This year will bring forth significant changes to our product portfolio, most notably with the introduction of the all-new XT4 SUV as well as concluding the successful lifecycle of the ATS Sedan in North America. The ATS Coupe, which is on a later lifecycle, will continue into 2019,” wrote Cadillac spokesman Donny Nordlicht in an email to The Truth About Cars.
      The ending of ATS sedan production is to allow GM to start the retooling process at Lansing Grand River Assembly plant for the "next generation of Cadillac sedans”. We're assuming this means the upcoming CT5 - replacement for ATS, CTS, and XTS - will be built here.
      Source: The Truth About Cars, 2

      View full article
  • My Clubs

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Reader Rides

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×