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Cruze production stops on Ford end date

Cruze over: October 7 will mark the end of the line for the locally built Cruze, but the South Korean-sourced new-generation sedan (left) is expected to fill the gap in the coming years.

Holden to stop Cruze production the same day Ford closes Australian manufacturing

Holden logo12 Jul 2016


GM HOLDEN has announced that it will end Australian production of its Cruze small car on October 7, the same day that Ford Australia shuts its entire local manufacturing operation.

When asked by GoAuto whether the company chose the date hoping that Ford’s closure would overshadow the end of Cruze production, a spokesperson for Holden said: “Our primary goal is always to ensure we give our people and the supply chain as much time and notice as possible to ensure an orderly and supportive transition.”

As already reported, the Commodore large car will continue to be produced at the company’s Elizabeth, South Australia plant until late 2017 before it is replaced by a new, imported model, likely to be based on the Opel Insignia.

The end of Cruze production means Holden’s daily manufacturing volume drops from 240 to 165 cars.

Staffing will also be impacted by the end of Cruze production, with the company reiterating that about 320 positions will go through redundancies that will be voluntary in the first instance.

Holden has already confirmed that the Cruze sedan, hatch and wagon range will be replaced by the European-sourced Astra hatch that arrives later this year.

The car-maker is still yet to officially confirm it, but Holden executive director of sales Peter Keley let slip at a media event late last year that the next-generation Korean-sourced Cruze sedan – revealed in mid-2015 – would also be joining the line-up down the track.

Holden said in a statement that its priority has been “to support our people and to manage this scheduled wind-down of manufacturing in a way that treats our employees with respect and dignity. All Holden employees have counselling services available to them, as well as career coaching, training and job searching assistance.”

Its Transition support program helps employees in their quest to find other work outside of Holden and is available to staff and their families both before and after they finish up.

Holden is also holding a Jobs Fair at the Elizabeth plant next month for direct employees and people from the supply chain. It will allow the workers to connect with other companies that may have job vacancies now or in the coming months.

The second-generation Cruze – the first iteration was a rebadged version of the Suzuki Ignis sold between 2002 and 2006 – arrived in late-2009 and was a sales hit for the brand.

To shore up its Australian manufacturing operation, the company elected to assemble the Cruze sedan Down Under (the wagon is still sourced from South Korea), with local versions rolling off the line in early 2011. The locally built Cruze hatch arrived later in 2011.

In more recent years, newer competitors including the Mazda3, Hyundai i30, Toyota’s Corolla and the Volkswagen Golf have outshone the Cruze and it sits well behind them, and other contenders such as Kia’s Cerato, in the sales race.

So far this year, 5788 Cruzes have found homes, a 27.4 per cent drop compared with the same period last year.

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