HOLDEN TO DETAIL FUTURE PLANS
Holden will tomorrow reveal details of its future development capabilities in the lead-up to, and beyond, the end of its Australian manufacturing operations in 2017.
The company will also reveal three new models bound for Australian showrooms in 2015, although it is unclear at this stage whether they will be previously unseen offerings or a local unveiling of recent overseas debuts.
Tomorrow’s announcement will be made by new Holden boss Gerry Dorizas, who will be joined in Melbourne by GM’s Singapore-based chief of International Operations, Stefan Jacoby.
Until now, Holden has remained tight-lipped on the topic of future models. Ask an executive at Fishermans Bend what the crystal ball holds for the brand and you can expect the old line: “we do not comment on future models”.
There has been speculation however that Holden will look to German stablemate Opel for new models, to either replace or join models sourced from Korea.
It is known that Holden will continue to produce the Cruze range in Australia until the Elizabeth production line closes in 2017 - if not before. As for what will be imported in its place, that will likely be revealed tomorrow.
Across town in Broadmeadows, rival Ford has been very forthcoming in recent months, confirming earlier this year a local debut for the all-new Mustang, and again last month outlining a number of other coming launches.
Ford has had a headstart, however: while Holden’s announcement of an end to Australian manufacturing did not come until December, news of Ford’s exit from local production was revealed in May last year.
Holden and Ford have long been rivals in the Australian manufacturing industry. But, in the years to come, the two satellite operations will focus on the design and development of global models for their parent companies.
Both companies have declared plans to maintain leadership positions in Australia, with Ford aiming to become the country's largest automotive employer, and Holden setting its sights on retaking the number one sales position from Toyota by 2020.
Stay tuned for more details tomorrow and keep an eye on TMR’s Twitter page for live updates from the media event.