Holden needs a commitment from Prime Minister Tony Abbott on federal government funding of the automotive industry, or it will probably follow Ford and cease making cars in Australia.
According to the Australian Financial Review Holden wants to know if the Abbott government will honour a $275 million “co-investment” deal brokered with former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and the South Australian Labor government.
That deal would see Holden promise to continue production in Australia until at least 2022.
Abbott has promised a Productivity Commission review into funding of the automotive industry, and General Motors Holden has reportedly argued that since the circumstances have changed with a new government, it needs an assurance.
Holden’s continued presence in South Australia was raised by the state’s Premier Jay Weatherill in a letter to Prime Minister Abbott, congratulating him on his win at the recent federal election.
Weatherill argued 16,000 jobs would be at risk if the car marker pulled out of Australia.
New industry minister Ian Macfarlane is, according to the Fin, going to visit Holden’s Adelaide plants in October.
“I’ll ask the opposition shadow minister to come along so there’s no politics,” he said in the article.
“It’s about everyone doing what needs to be done. I want to see Holden bring out a new model. Now whether that’s possible or not, let’s see. But let’s not die wondering.
“If it becomes political, if it becomes a contest between politicians, then we might as well forget about it, the car industry is doomed.”
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