A bold Belgian entrepreneur is proposing a plan to keep Holden’s South Australian manufacturing plant open past its current planned closing date in 2017.
The boss of Punch International, Guido Dumarey, has begun pushing for Australian government support, including the backing of Christopher Pyne in his bid to keep building the Holden Commodore.
It’s reported that Dumarey has met with state and federal politicians to try and secure a big chunk of the $800 million Automotive Transformation Scheme. On top of that, he has been seeking the intellectual property of Holden’s rear-wheel-derive architecture from the Commodore as well as the facilities to keep building it.
If it did go ahead, this wouldn’t be Dumarey’s first rodeo, with the Belgian successfully taking over a General Motors facility in France that was going bust, turning it into a driveline component constructor.
Federal industry minister Christopher Pyne told ABC radio that “everybody in the government would like there to be a car manufacturing business in Australia”, and that he’s getting behind the plan.
Holden itself hasn’t denied the possibility, with a spokesman saying that if a party was interested in one of their sites, Holden and GM will assess all options.
However, if Dumarey does go ahead with his plans, it’s not going to be an easy road ahead. One Australian automotive industry executive told Business Insider that “to put it simply, Toyota, Ford and Holden are pulling out of manufacturing for a reason”.
“If there was a business case for one of the brands they would still be here, but there isn’t.”
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