Australian-built Cruze sticking around for now, but in what form?
Holden expects to maintain nearly 3000 positions in its manufacturing workforce, in the lead-up to the end of its Australian production operations.
Speaking in Melbourne today, where the company announced it would keep its Lang Lang proving grounds beyond 2017, GM International Operations chief Stefan Jacoby offered some peace of mind to Holden workers.
"We expect around 2900 positions will maintain their jobs until 2017,” Mr Jacoby said.
He added that the company fully intends to continue manufacturing cars in Australia until its scheduled end, with or without government assistance.
“I believe over the next couple of years we'll maintain the share of locally-made vehicles compared to the vehicles we import,” he said.
Asked to confirm that production will continue through until 2017 even if the government cuts all support, Mr Jacoby replied simply, “yes”.
But, while production of the VF Commodore is expected to continue until the very end of Holden’s local manufacturing operations, it remains unclear precisely how much longer the Australian Cruze program will run.
Mr Jacoby appeared to confirm today that the Cruze will continue to be built in Australia until 2017, but backtracked when pushed for details on the form the small car would take.
Asked if the Australian-built Cruze will continue in its current form until 2017, or whether we will see local production of the update revealed in New York - or even, for a short time, the all-new Cruze - Mr Jacoby said only “stay tuned”.
It is believed that Holden has the capability to deliver a final local update to the current Cruze range in-line with the updated North American model, but the carmaker has yet to offer any official confirmation.
It appears unlikely that Holden would 'reset' its Elizabeth plant to produce an all-new model for only one year, and the continued production of the current model without change for two to three more years is also unlikely.
TMR says: bank on an updated Cruze to start rolling out of Elizabeth in the coming year.