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[Unveiling of new] Holden 3 Litre V6 Engine: speech.

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Ministers for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research



• Jaala Pulford MLC Parliamentary Secretary for Industrial Relations, Government of Victoria

• Kevin Foley MHA Deputy Premier of South Australia

• Mark Reuss Chairman and Managing Director, General Motors Holden

• Alan Batey Incoming Chairman and Managing Director, General Motors Holden

I have enormous faith in the Australian automotive industry’s capacity to evolve, meet new challenges, and renew itself.

Today’s announcement confirms that faith.

It also confirms that the Australian Government’s New Car Plan for a Greener Future is working.

Central to that plan is the partnership we have forged between the Commonwealth, the industry, autoworkers and their unions, state governments, the research sector and the wider community.

Without that partnership, Holden could well have been struggling to define its place in a rapidly changing automotive landscape.

Without that partnership, it is very possible that Holden would not be part of the New GM.

Without that partnership, we might not be celebrating new Holden products and capabilities here today.

Everyone involved - but especially the car companies and their workers - can take credit for what we have achieved so far.

They now exactly what it has taken to navigate the ship through these perilous waters.

Innovation Minister > Senator the Hon Kim Carr


Senator the Hon Kim Carr

04 Aug 2009

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It is their creativity and their sacrifice that has made it all possible.

The engine

And that includes the new engines and other technologies Holden is unveiling today.

Mark has already taken us through the numbers, but there are two that bear repeating.

These innovations will increase fuel efficiency by up to 13 per cent and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as 14 per cent across a range of models and configurations.

These are very significant gains, and they are being achieved simply by refining and rethinking existing technologies.

There is still enormous scope to improve the performance of engines, of transmissions - even of the humble tyre.

Focusing on incremental innovations like these has many advantages.

It enables us to reduce our carbon footprint right here and right now.

It enables us to extend the life of today’s platforms - and in these straitened times, that is good thing.

Above all, it enables us to go on giving people what they want.

Everyone thinks they know what Australians look for in a car, but Holden is one of the few to get it right.

The Commodore has been Australia’s most popular car for so long because people want a vehicle that can hold the kids and the shopping at the same time.

Sure, they want economy, but they also want power.

The new engines we are launching today provide both.

This is hardly surprising given that Holden product and manufacturing engineers were part of the General Motors team responsible for their design and development.

They know what Australia wants, but they also know what the world wants.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Holden exports V6 engines to South Korea, Thailand, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Mexico and South Africa for brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Vauxhall, Opel and Saab.

It also exports to China.

My visit to that country last month confirmed to me just how much this huge and rapidly developing market offers innovative Australian firms.

Greener future

There is enormous potential there, especially for the kind of green technologies Holden is developing.

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These include a choice of fuel-efficient V6 engines.

They include E85 and LPG engines for the Commodore range, and the active fuel management technology used in Holden’s V8 engines.

And they include the four-cylinder vehicle that will be rolling off the production line at Elizabeth in South Australia from 2010.

The Australian Government is right behind these developments.

We support people who want to buy one of Holden’s LPG models through the LPG Vehicle Scheme, and we are supporting the four-cylinder car project through the Green Car Innovation Fund.

We can’t expect to create a greener industry overnight - particularly in the current economic climate - but change is coming, and the Commonwealth will continue to work with and through its partners to accelerate that change.

The future

One change that I have very mixed feelings about is the imminent departure of Mark Reuss from our shores.

On the one hand, I know that Mark leaves Holden in great shape and in the immensely capable hands of Alan Batey.

On the other hand, Mark has been an absolutely critical player in the partnership I have been talking about.

As the son of a former General Motors executive, he has been immersed in the company from the cradle.

Just as importantly, he is an engineer who actually knows something about making cars.

I have valued his knowledge, his composure in difficult times, and his ability to read the situation in Detroit and Washington with unerring accuracy.

He is one of the ten people who put the New GM together, and I suppose it was inevitable that he would sooner a later be called to a position of leadership at company headquarters.

He leaves us to become vice-president of global vehicle engineering.

It is good to know Australia will have another firm friend in Detroit, and one I hope we will see back here regularly.

Not that he is leaving us just yet.

There are still one or two projects I know he wants to wrap up before he goes.

I’m looking forward to working with both Mark and Alan over the days and years ahead.

The partnership continues.

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