“The confirmation today that GM is to retire the Holden brand is an almost inevitable yet sad day for the industry,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.
“Changes to the industry and consumer habits and the loss of full scale auto assembly in Australia meant it was only a matter of time before the local Holden marque became history. The announcement that the design and engineering operations would likewise cease by 2021 is also disappointing, especially with the loss of jobs, skills and our capacity for research and development that this will entail.
“However, the automotive and components sector remains vibrant in Australia and there are opportunities in many areas including exports and design and in the new growth areas around electric and hydrogen vehicles, for example. Auto is part of the transport equipment manufacturing sector which saw jobs grow in the past two years, in particular due to success with the manufacture of trains, trams and trucks. In 2019 there were 80,000 Australians employed in the sector up from the 2017 low of 70,400.
“The GM announcement that they will focus on growing their business in speciality vehicles may also open new opportunities for local manufacturers in this niche area,” Mr Willox said.