Holden ceases Aussie manufacturing once and for all

By: James Robinson, Unique Cars magazine

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Last Holden ever made Last Holden ever made
Last Holden ever made Last Holden ever made

A sad day and the end of an era

At 10.45am this morning, Friday, October 20, the final Aussie built Holden rolled off the production line at the Iron Lion’s Elizabeth plant.

Holden held a private ceremony for the employees to mark the sombre occasion, and to recognise 69 years of manufacturing in Australia as well as the generations of men and women who worked to make Holden what it is today.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said: "Treating our people with dignity and respect was always our number one priority during this transition and we’re all proud we were able to achieve that, we see it as recognition of their dedicated service over the years. With 85 per cent of all workers to date successfully transitioning, we’ve worked closely with our people to support them. 

"Holden also appreciates the partnership and assistance of the state and federal governments, along with the unions, over many years.

"Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come. The best way we can honour our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around.

"Today, however, is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company. Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart," said Bernhard.  

While the manufacturing may’ve stopped at Elizabeth, according to Holden the employee transition centre, which is also located at the Elizabeth plant, will remain open for at least two years to give employees the best possible chance to transition into new career paths.

Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, paid tribute to the people and achievements of the Elizabeth plant: "The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them. In the final years of production, we have been building categorically the best-quality cars to ever roll out of this plant, and our last car was our best. Together we achieved a string of productivity and quality awards in recent times, doing so during the closure period is testament to the skills, professionalism and dedication of the team."

The final four cars to roll off the production line at Elizabeth, a Caprice V V8 automatic in Switchblade silver, Calais V V6 automatic in Son of a Gun grey, SS Ute V8 automatic in Light My Fire orange and an SSV Redline V8 manual in Red Hot red, will all be retained by Holden as part of the company’s ongoing heritage collection. 

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