Its been a long time coming and US based Pontiac fans are probably getting quite impatient by now, but finally we can report that GM Holden have fired up production of their VE Commodore based Pontiac G8 at their Elizabeth manufacturing plant in Adelaide. The good news for Holden is that the mix of vehicles coming out of the Elizabeth plant is now a healthy 50:50 split between domestic and export production.
The move to production of the Pontiac G8 means that the Elizabeth plant is now running at its full production capacity of 620 cars a day, which equates to one car off the line every 76 seconds.
GM Holden marked the start of the G8 export program yesterday, with a VIP event at Holden Vehicle Operations in Adelaide, which was attended by the new Federal Industry Minister, the Hon Simon Crean MP, who was joined by the Hon Kevin Foley, Acting Premier of South Australia and the Hon Theo Theophanous, Victorian Minister for Industry and Trade.
The Pontiac G8 is due to go on sale in the US in the first quarter of 2008 and is the biggest of three new export programs announced in 2007 by GM Holden, the others being to Korea and the Middle East.
â€œFor 60 years, we have been producing world class vehicles primarily for the Australian market. That market has developed into one of the most crowded in the world with almost fifty brands now competing for a share of only a million new vehicles annually. GM has recognised Holdenâ€™s expertise and has entrusted the design and engineering of the Groupâ€™s large rear-wheel drive cars to us. This commitment is seeing us develop our exports, which we see as a vital part of our business model going forward. The results are already evident. Vehicles are now rolling off the production line here at Elizabeth for export under internationally recognised brand names of Holden, Vauxhall, Chevrolet and now Pontiac. Next year, with our exports to Korea, we will add Daewoo to that list,â€ said GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Chris Gubbey
GM Holden have invested over $500 million in upgrading their Elizabeth plant to ensure that it is one of the most flexible plants in the GM group, allowing for the production of both left and right hand drive vehicles in numerous configurations for both the domestic and export programs.
GM Holden appear to have been highly successful in their efforts to become a global manufacturer, with variants of the VE Commodore now being sold in countries such as the US, UK, the UAE and even Brazil.