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Holden reveals new HQ!

Holden HQ: new centre is Holden's largest building works in 70 years.

Holden opens its new $85 million headquarters in Port Melbourne

Holden logo26 May 2005

HOLDEN stepped into the 21st century last week with the opening of its new state-of-the-art $85 million headquarters at Port Melbourne.

The facility will house more than 1500 employees under one roof for the first time since Holden’s heritage-listed headquarters was built alongside the new site in the 1930s.

The building construction by Baulderstone Hornibrook was part of a $200 million redevelopment of the Fishermens Bend business precinct.

Funded and owned by Mirvac company James Fielding Group, the three-storey building is leased back by Holden as part of a long-term lease arrangement.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and Mirvac managing director Greg Paramour joined Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney to open the building.

HQ191, as it is known within Holden, provides the company with more than 20,000 square metres of office space, has two full-height atrium spaces, concourse areas and links to a new 1000-space multi-storey car park.

The building complex is next to Holden’s technical centre, which will continue to be used by Holden Design and other departments. An air bridge links the two buildings.

The three-year project represented the largest building works program in almost 70 years for Holden’s corporate headquarters.

The free-flowing, campus-style building was designed by Peddle Thorp Architects and uses a thermally efficient "skin" with water collection and re-use facility.

Apart from providing much-need room for expansion, the facility will also house Saab operations.

The opening is welcome news for the company, which is battling to sustain market share despite the arrival of several important new models, including the poor-selling Adventra 4WD.

It has also been working to overcome production issues at its Elizabeth plant, which earlier this year had delayed the arrival of some models. The collapse of the Ion casting company also forced to it source blocks for its new V6 engine from Mexico.

Holden’s Fishermens Bend site is steeped in history. The original art deco headquarters was built in 1936 and the first Holden, a 48-215, rolled off the production line nearby on November 28, 1949. The 48-215 was the first Holden destined to become the country’s first successfully mass-produced car.

Holden’s commitment to Victoria assures its place in the national automotive scene.

The state dominates the $17 billion national automotive manufacturing industry, employing more than 27,000 people and achieving exports of more than $2.5 billion annually.

About 70 per cent of the industry’s $473 million research and development budget is spent in Victoria. Holden’s new HQ is the latest long-term commitment by General Motors to Australia.

The $400 million Global V6 engine plant began production at Port Melbourne in 2003 and Holden is in the middle of a $450 million upgrade of facilities at its Elizabeth vehicle plant in South Australia.

The Victorian Government is believed to have provided a $50 million incentive package to Holden to locate the engine plant at Fishermens Bend.

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