GM CLOSES HOLDEN PLANT IN AUSTRALIA

After 69 years of making vehicles in Australia, GM has officially shuttered its Holden plant in the city of Adelaide. The plant closure signals the end of vehicle production in Australia.

Today, the very last Australian-produced Holden rolled off the line: a VFII Commodore Redline with a manual transmission. Holden has built more than 7.6 million cars on the continent since introducing its first vehicle there in 1948.

As Reuters reports, GM Holden will shift production to German factories with advanced automation procedures, helping to keep costs down as it launches new products. The brand will introduce 24 new vehicles by 2020, with a V-8 rear-drive sports car destined for Australia in the future. Holden says the Commodore nameplate will live on in 2018.

Last year, Ford ended production in Australia, reportedly due to the strong Australian dollar and stiff competition from Asian imports. The automaker had been producing cars in Australia for more than 90 years. Toyota is also throwing in the towel on Australian manufacturing after more than 50 years of building cars in the country.

Holden says about 85 percent of its workers have transitioned to new jobs. Its transition center will remain open on the site for at least two years after the factory has closed.

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