AUSSIE-MADE Holdens will keep rolling out of the factory for at least into the next decade, the company’s national boss assured fans in Warrnambool this week.
He firmly put the brakes on industry rumours that General Motors would follow Ford’s lead and pull out of Australian manufacturing.
“We are committed to making things in this country,” GM Holden’s Australian chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said.
“It’s part of our DNA.
“The current economic climate doesn’t make it any easier, but we were created in this country and we built two of the top five cars last year in Adelaide — the Cruze and Commodore.
“Over time it becomes more difficult with international competition and the strength of the dollar doesn’t make it easy, but we are still making a great go of it.
“There is still a thirst for Aussie-built cars, if they are world-class.
“I think there can be a resurgence of people’s love for the Commodore as long as you give them a world-class product.”
Mr Devereux said work had already started on designing another model to replace the new VF Commodore to be officially launched on May 20.
He drove a pilot version of the new VF Clubsport to Warrnambool for Callaghan Motors’ 80th anniversary celebrations Thursday night.
“I think this would have be one of the first VFs to be washed at a dealership anywhere in the country,” he joked.
“We actually have clay models of the next generation to follow this one. We’ve been seven years with the current VE, so it’s no wonder sales have fallen off.”
And who has the ultimate say in how long GM’s car manufacturing will continue in Australia?
“We make the case and as long as we can continue to make a strong brand and economic argument we have the full support of GM’s board,” he said.
“The day that it becomes impossible from a financial standpoint to do this in this country, then we would have to face that fact.”
Mr Devereux is no newcomer to the General Motors world. He started as a teenager in an engine foundry at the company’s Ontario factory 28 years ago and rose through the ranks, taking his place at the Australian helm three years ago.