Holden will terminate 170 jobs at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia, the carmaker has confirmed today, pointing to a high Australian dollar and reduced demand for its locally-built Cruze and Commodore models.
The redundancies follow a series of layoffs and reduced production schedules put into place earlier this year, and comes despite an announcement in March of a $275million federal and state funding boost and a commitment to local production until 2022.
In a statement today, the carmaker said that the move will "align production with customer requirements and projected future volume," describing it as a necessary step to ensure continued manufacturing in Australia "for the next decade".
The carmaker said the decision was not made lightly, and that it will work with employees to help them move toward new work opportunities.
Holden said it had taken steps to avoid the need for redundancies, including "market response days" - planned temporary shutdown periods to align production with sales.
"Holden Vehicle Operations has responded to changes in consumer demand many times over the years, and this latest adjustment is necessary in order to continue our plan to sustain auto manufacturing in Australia for the long-term, and the implementation of GM’s plan to build two new models in Australia through until 2022," the statement reads.
Employees will be offered Voluntary Redundancy Packages, and it is expected that no forced redundancies will be required.
A new midsized model, the Malibu, will also join the Holden line-up early in 2013 - a move that is likely to further impact on the Commodore's dwindling sales.