Design engineers at Holden have voiced concerns for Australian jobs amid rumours that the signature Commodore series will soon be designed overseas.
The engineers’ union says job cuts could begin in the next two months, if the company goes ahead with the move.
Rebekah Fay reports.
The Commodore, for the last 15 years, it’s been called “Australia’s favourite car”, designed and built BY Australians, FOR Australians.
But the engineers’ union fears that might not be the case for much longer.
Chris Walton, Association of Professional Engineers: “Unfortunately Holden has advised that it’s highly likely the 2014 Commodore will be the last model designed and engineered in Australia.”
Mr Walton criticises the move.
Chris Walton, Association of Professional Engineers: “That would be the end of the Commodore as we know it – a great Australian icon, best-selling car for over 15 years would no longer be Australian. That’s a disaster.”
He says if the company goes through with the decision, it would destroy Aussie jobs.
Chris Walton, Association of Professional Engineers: “We suspect Holden’s going to use an overseas designed car and produce it here meaning around 350 job losses among our engineers and thousands of other job losses in the related manufacturing industry.”
But a statement from General Motor’s Holden dismisses the claims as premature.
GM Statement: “The issues being raised in the media today … relate to decisions for new products which Australians won’t see until closer to the end of the decade … and we have not finalised these decisions yet.”
Today, Holden’s Chairman branded the union’s comments as untrue but he wouldn’t discuss further details of the Commodores’ future.
The Minister for Industry says the Federal Government will work with car companies, including Holden, to keep design and manufacturing jobs in Australia.
Kim Carr, Industry Minister: “We are one of 13 countries in the world that has the capacity to have the full range of operations – that is, from design and engineering, so from the point of conception through to the showroom floor and I want to keep it that way.”
Rebekah Fay, QUT News.