The Holden Commodore, as we know it, will die October 20, 2017.
While the Commodore name will live on with an imported model but the last Australian-made example will roll of the production line in Elizabeth, South Australia in October, two years after Holden announced plans to end local manufacturing. The first Australian-made Holden, the 48-215, went into production in November 1948.
Richard Phillips, executive director of manufacturing, confirmed the date today, saying it would bring closure to the remaining production lining employees.?
"While this confirmation isn't a surprise for anyone and we've been working toward this for nearly four years, we can now confirm the actual date for our people and our suppliers. Putting our people first and foremost has always been our highest priority," Phillips said.
"This October may bring to a close more than 60 years of vehicle manufacturing by Holden at Elizabeth but I know it will be business as usual for our manufacturing workforce until then – we have tens of thousands of world-class cars to build in coming months and I know we all want to see Holden have great success in Australia for many years to come."
Of the 700 employees to have already left the company since it announced its closure plans in January 2014, the company claims 69 per cent have found re-employment within 12 months of leaving.
"It's not surprising that their skills, work ethic and flexibility are highly sought after and they are leaving a legacy for Holden that deserves to be honoured by ensuring this company has a bright and successful future," said Holden managing director, Mark Bernhard.
The end of the Australian-made Commodore will begin Holden's new era as a fully-imported brand. As an importer the company has committed to launching 24 new models between 2014 and 2020 to totally overhaul its line-up.
Beyond that Holden will continue to employee 300 designers and engineers at its Melbourne head office as part of its role within General Motors' global plans.
"Holden continues to change but we are proud to retain a significant presence in Australia for the long-term that includes more than 300 people across our local design and engineering workforces, in addition to the approximately 700 corporate staff and 10,000 people employed across our dealer network," Bernhard explained. "Holden remains committed to Australia and our customers for many, many years to come."
Ford closed its Broadmeadows plant on October 7, 2016 ending a 90-year run building cars in Australia.
Holden's announcement leaves Toyota as the final manufacturer left to make its final production date public. The Japanese brand is committed to building the Camry and Aurion models in its Altona facility in Melbourne until "late" in 2017.