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Holden looks to the big picture

Weekend work: Holden's Elizabeth plant will be cranking out Commodores on Saturdays and Sundays until the third shift kicks in.

Long-term goals are more important than the 2003 sales race, says Hanenberger

Holden logo26 Mar 2003


HOLDEN boss Peter Hanenberger has declared retaining the number one sales spot in 2003 is not a priority for the company.

Following Holden's two consecutive years at the top, Toyota is applying enormous pressure in the VFACTS sales race, leading Holden by a narrow 206 sales after two months.

But Mr Hanenberger makes it clear that his eyes are focussed on a bigger prize than this year's sales results.

"This is for me not an issue," he said. "It is very nice if you are number one at the end of the year, but the issue for me is to sell the cars, get the right products in the market for the customers and achieve the profitability so we can invest in our future programs.

"We have a very clear plan which I have talked about for four years that we want to get a sustainable business for Holden for decades to come.

"We have a plan for this year for 184,000 vehicles together with Isuzu and we are pretty much on target for that."Holden's stalwart Commodore has been down in year-on-year sales terms compared with 2002, but Mr Hanenberger said that was a result of January work at the Elizabeth assembly plant in Adelaide to prepare for the mid-year introduction of a third shift.

Holden had up to 1000 contractors working at Elizabeth over three weeks in January making the changes that affected 70 per cent of the plant.

Since then Mr Hanenberger said assembly line workers had worked every Saturday and Sunday to make up the Commodore shortage - which initially stood at 1400 cars. The exception was last weekend, so staff could attend the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar races.

"But next week it's Saturday-Sunday and that continues ... until we get the third shift going," he said.

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