Holden sheds 400 jobs as Cruze production ends
HOLDEN will shed about 400 jobs from its Adelaide plant as the last small car made in Australia rolls off the production line for the final time in December.
The Cruze, which is produced at the Elizabeth factory in the northern suburbs of the SA capital, will be replaced by the UK-made Holden Astra.
Holden told production line workers of its decision on Friday afternoon.
It said the 10-month notice regarding the end of the Cruze era would ensure suppliers had time to restructure their businesses before their work ran out.
The decision will likely see local suppliers cut jobs but the impact should be cushioned a little by the fact that 70% of Cruze parts are sourced from overseas.
Holden managing director Mark Bernhand said his company was "gradually scaling down".
"I want to acknowledge first and foremost the impact the end of local manufacturing has on people, and their families, across the country and throughout the industry," Mr Bernhand said.
"In the coming months, we will be helping many in our manufacturing workforce transition to new employment, wherever possible."
Affected staff will receive $3000 worth of approved training and access to transition services - both are covered by their employer's $15 million contribution to the federal Growth Fund for former factory workers.
"Our number one priority is to support our people - this is a difficult time for all those in the Holden family," Holden executive director of human resources Ashley Winnett said.
Holden produces 240 cars a day at the SA plant and one-third of those are Cruzes.
The Commodore sedan, wagons and utes will still be made there until late 2017.
Last year, Holden sold 15,222 Cruzes, making it the company's third most popular car that year.
Friday's decision is the latest blow to Australia's dying automotive industry.
Ford is expected to shut its Broadmeadows assembly line and its Geelong engine and stamping plant in October, ending 91 years of production in Australia.
Toyota will close its Camry assembly line in Melbourne at the end of 2017.
When the first Holden Cruze went into production at the Elizabeth plant in late 2011, the factory had 2300 workers and produced 430 cars each day. - APN NEWSDESK