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Holden engine decision a huge boost for Australia's automotive industry.

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13 December 2000            00/575 

HOLDEN ENGINE DECISION A HUGE BOOST FOR AUSTRALIA'S AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY  "Today's announcement that Holden has selected Australia ahead of all international competitors for its new V6 engine plant, is a vote of confidence in the Federal Government's policies for the automotive industry," Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin said today. 

"Holden's decision to build its new generation aluminium V6 engine in Australia is a major coup for the industry and confirms Australia's reputation as a competitive, low cost, high technology automotive manufacturer. 

"Holden's commitment to Australia's automotive industry is due in no small part to the success of the Federal Government's policies to develop a strong and robust automotive industry. 

"The new $2 billion Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme (ACIS) due to start on January 1 will deliver significant benefits to Holden for this project, and was a decisive factor in securing this investment for Australia.  

"The main objective of the five year scheme is to encourage investment, innovation, research and development, and production in the automotive industry. Australian firms supplying components to the new Holden engine will also be eligible for ACIS.  

"I have been working closely with Holden to secure this project for Australia.  

"I am delighted that Holden's excellent manufacturing capability has been recognised by General Motors in the US, and that Victoria has won this investment over strong international competition." 

Initial investment in the engine plant is expected to total $386 million, and Holden expects the plant to directly create around 550 new jobs in Victoria. Production is expected to commence at the end of 2003. The engines will be incorporated into the Commodore range in Australia as well as being used in General Motor's European range. 

"The all-aluminium engine will deliver reduced emissions and better fuel

efficiency through the use of light materials and new technology. The plant will incorporate state of the art production processes.  

"The Holden engine project is likely to have significant flow on benefits for the industry in Australia, particularly in component suppliers and light metals manufacturing. Additional investment could exceed $200 million. This project will contribute to turning Australia's natural advantage in light metals into an internationally competitive industry. 

"The engine plant announcement, together with Holden's recently unveiled plans for significant expansion of production, demonstrates Holden has a bright future in Australian automotive manufacturing." 

Contacts: Jennifer Eddy  Senator Minchin's Office  0419 432 664

David Purcell  Invest Australia    02 6213 6700

             Garry Wall  ACIS     02 6213 7540


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