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GM Holden result vindicates new car plan

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12 Apr 2011

GM Holden’s $112 million after tax profit in 2010 is a resounding vindication of the Australian Government’s $5.4 billion A New Car Plan for a Greener Future and its transformation of the Australian automotive industry.

Congratulating GM Holden, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said the result was made possible by hard work under a partnership with Holden, the Federal and State Governments, unions and workers and was testament to the resilience and creativity of the Australian automotive industry.

“This return to profitability is a $320 million turnaround that shows that the New Car Plan is working,” Senator Carr said.

“Not only are domestic vehicle sales for Holden up by 11 per cent for 2010 compared with 2009, but vehicle exports, to Brazil, the Middle East, New Zealand, South Africa and North America also underwent a 13 per cent boost.

“Australian engine exports also rose by 25 per cent and coupled with greater demand for engine products this led to a second production shift at Port Melbourne. The reinstatement of a second shift at Elizabeth was also a fantastic result for the company and its loyal workers.

“The fact that there are excellent prospects for further export growth at a time of a strong Australian dollar further underscores our faith in the company and the industry.”

Senator Carr said the introduction of the locally produced Holden Cruze and the potential for a police variant of the Caprice for the North American market would add further strength.

“This is a company that has also made an exemplary commitment to local design and engineering, supported by the Australian and State Governments. For example, it spent $179 million of research and development in 2010, compared with $146 million in 2009,” Senator Carr said.

The success of the Australian-designed Camaro in the United States is evidence of the expertise of the local operation, which is GM’s global centre for large rear wheel drive architecture.

“This result is in no small way due to the efforts of GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux, and his staff and workers. I want to particularly acknowledge the sacrifices that have been made by Holden workers during the hard times of the global down turn,” Senator Carr said.