Tim O'Brien | Jun 2, 2009

MARK REUSS, Holden Managing Director, confirmed this morning that Holden will “continue normal operations” and will be “unaffected” by the filing overnight for bankruptcy by US parent, General Motors.

Speaking at a press conference at Holden’s Port Melbourne HQ, called in response to the announcement from GM overnight, Mr Reuss said:

“We’re safe, we’re part of the new GM. We have worked extremely hard to do that… and worked hard with Federal and State Governments, and with the union.”

“We are one of three vital subsidiaries in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

Importantly, and certainly a factor assisting Holden’s cause, Mr Reuss also said that Holden was liquid – cash flow positive – in a down market.

This has resulted from Holden moving quickly, beginning last year, to match production output with demand.

With production of the new Cruze (recently on sale in Australia) to begin in the latter half of 2010 at Holden’s Elizabeth facility in SA, with the Commodore holding onto top spot in the Australian market, and with new export programs in the wings, Holden’s outlook as a key player in the region would seem secure.

“We are going to recoup our export losses (the loss of the Pontiac G8 program to the US) with new programs,” Mr Reuss said, although remaining tight-lipped about the detail of future product and export plans.

Holden badge, emblem

Recently, Holden announced an engine export program to supply 2500 turbocharged 2.8 litre Alloytec V6s to GM’s Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico, to power the 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover, similar to those supplied for the Saab 9-3 and Opel Insignia.

Furthermore, Holden’s important engineering and product development work for GM’s global operations, is also secure.

“There will be no impact on our global design and engineering work. We’re pretty much booked-up here and remain booked,” Mr Reuss said.

For Holden’s legion of loyal fans, for its 6000 employees, for the parts and components industry it supports, and for the Federal Government, the news this morning is very positive.

“The harder you work, the luckier you get,” Mr Reuss said.

“It’s a positive day for GM Holden.”

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