Holden’s departure ‘could be the end of manufacturing in Australia’

Published 11 December 2013 14:32, Updated 13 December 2013 08:05

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Holden’s departure ‘could be the end of manufacturing in Australia’

Holden’s departure from Australia may be the card that brings the nation’s entire manufacturing house down, according to the University of Sydney Business School’s Dr Stephen Clibborn and Professor Russell Lansbury, who have studied the sector extensively.

“The fallout from the downfall of the automotive industry could be greater than many anticipated,” the two experts said in a statement today. “This could possibly lead to the demise of the remaining manufacturing sector, leaving the Australian economy vulnerable when the mining boom inevitably ends.”

“The world’s car-making landscape has changed dramatically and perhaps Australia’s should too.” they say. “China’s Geely owns Volvo, India’s Tata owns Jaguar and with GM’s departure, it may be time to look beyond American and Japanese companies and think of alternative futures for Australian automotive manufacturing.”

Earlier today, Holden managing director Mike Devereux announced the iconic car maker will be leaving Australia at the end of 2017 following a row with the federal government over subsidies to keep the company here beyond 2020.

Mr Devereux made the announcement to workers at Holden’s manufacturing plant in Elizabeth in Adelaide on Wednesday.

“This has been a difficult decision given Holden’s long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia,” Mr Devereux said in a statement.

“We are dedicated to working with our teams, unions and the local communities, along with the federal and state governments, to support our people.”

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told the House of Representatives that Mr Devereux had informed him of the decision this afternoon.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine told state parliament his government was also advised that it was an “irreversible decision”.

GM Holden’s decision to exit Australian manufacturing comes six months after Ford announced it would close its Australian plants.

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