There has been good news for the beleaguered brand, however: in March, Holden celebrated the 50,000th build of its strong-selling new Commodore range, the VF.
This week the company has reached an even bigger milestone: one million of its ‘High Feature’ V6 engines, launched in 2003.
In 2009, Holden began producing the enhanced ‘Spark Ignition Direct Injection’ (SIDI) version of the V6 engine, improving performance and fuel efficiency in the Commodore range.
The company has built more than 10 million engines at its Port Melbourne plant since it opened in 1948, and its latest V6 offering is manufactured in a full 34 different configurations.
For the Australian market, those include the Commodore-powering 3.0 and 3.6 litre versions, along with the 3.6 litre LPG engine.
And while Holden’s Port Melbourne engine plant will close in 2016, Operations Manager Martin Merry said this latest milestone is a testament to the skills of its workers.
“Our mission is to build ‘World Best Engines’ and we believe we do. Over one third of the engines built at Fishermans Bend are fitted into Holden’s locally-produced VF Commodore and Calais vehicles,” Mr Merry said.
Holden also builds engines for export, and around two-thirds of its Australian-made powerplants are sent to North and South American markets, along with Europe and Asia.
Holden has also built a 2.8 litre turbocharged version of the High Feature engine, which has been used in the Opel Insignia OPC, along with Cadillac and Saab models.
Opel’s Insignia OPC will return to Australia in 2015, although it will be known this time as the Holden Insignia VXR.