Photo: Getty/Brendon Thorne
Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux just announced that the company is going to cut around 500 production and development jobs, blaming the effect of the high Australian dollar.
Most of the job cuts will be in the company’s Elizabeth plant in Adelaide’s north, with around 100 expected to be lost in Victoria.
The company is competing in the small car market with countries “with currencies that have been unnaturally manipulated,” Devereux said on ABC News.
Devereux also said it was now 60% more expensive to produce cars in Australia than it was “just 10 years ago.”
The high Australian dollar, he said, also makes Australia the most expensive country for the General Motors brand to conduct research & development in.
He said the company hoped to achieve the job cuts through voluntary redundancies.
The news comes just days after Holden revealed that it had received $2.17 billion in state and federal government funding over the past 12 years. Ford only received $1.1 billion and Toyota $1.2 billion, News Limited reported.
Devereux defended the assistance, saying that Holden takes it “seriously,” before telling reporters he could only focus on what he could control.
Holden’s staff pay $150 million in payroll tax per year, and the South Australian plant generates $2.2 billion in economic stimulus every year, he said.
“I can not control what central banks do.
“I am not a fortune teller. I cannot predict the future. I do focus on building world-class products … but there are no guarantees in life or, frankly, in the automotive business,” he said.
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