Holden has announced that the ‘beginning of the end’ is nigh, with the Cruze to be the first model discontinued at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia.
The carmaker said that the last locally-built Cruze will roll down the production line in October of this year, as Holden begins to wind-down its local manufacturing facilities.
As the workload drops off, so too do the workers, and reports suggest that 400 are set to go when Cruze manufacturing ends.
Holden Australia has built various Cruze sedan and locally-designed hatch models for over five years, while the Cruze wagon has always been fully-imported.
Despite being the ‘right car at the right time’, the Cruze has always been outsold by the popular Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 models in the small car segment. The Commodore has also easily outsold the Cruze while the pair has been built side-by-side in overall terms.
“I want to acknowledge first and foremost the impact the end of local manufacturing has on people, and their families, across the country and throughout the industry,” Holden Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said. “Our people remain our number one priority.”
“As I’ve said since the first day I took up this role last year, my most important job is to support our people and I want to reaffirm that commitment to helping them wherever we can.”
Mr Bernhard said that between now and October, Holden will continue to support workers in their transition to new employment. The company says it has spent around $25 million to date on assisting its workforce in South Australia.
Almost 125,000 examples of the Cruze will have been built by Holden by the time the company pulls the pin on local production.
The end of local manufacturing for the Cruze will begin the countdown for the death of the Commodore, as we know it, around 12 months after the Cruze.
Following an announcement from Belgian tycoon Guido Dumarey and his company Punch Corporation that the plan to buy the Holden vehicle assembly plant in Adelaide from General Motors and continue production is now officially off, it seems nothing can save the Commodore now.
The Cruze will become a fully-imported model once locally manufacturing ends, and the sedan variant will continue to be part of Holden’s local small car range. An all-new Astra hatch is also expected to arrive before the end of this year.
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