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HSV moves to new Clayton premises

Better look: HSV’s new headquarters are situated only five minutes from the group’s ageing facility in Clayton, Victoria.

Pre-Christmas move for majority of Walkinshaw Automotive Group into new premises

HSV logo12 Dec 2017

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) – along with most of the Walkinshaw Automotive Group (WAG) will move into its new facility, just around the corner from the current site, early in 2018.

A 28,000-square metre premises comprising four production lines, a styling studio and engineering workshop has been leased on a 15-year deal.

HSV managing director Tim Jackson said at the recent Colorado SportsCat launch that the outfit was looking forward to the move after spending 22 years in its current location.

“The old facility at Clayton has served its purpose, but it’s falling down around our ears a little now,” he said.

The three-building facility, which includes both office, workshop and warehouse space, has been under preparation since June this year.

Four separate production lines – for HSV Colorado SportsCat, the incoming Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado projects and a self-contained facility for Ram truck conversion – may be joined by a fifth in the next three years.

“Ram has completely separate and dedicated staff, managers and production line, to meet its unique manufacturing needs,” said HSV general manager of marketing Damon Paull.

Staff numbers are increasing as well, with 20 engineers added in the past 18 months. Up to 160 people will be employed in the company’s production facility when it is running at full capacity.

From annual production numbers of between 4500-5000 at the business’s peak in the early 2000s, volumes will be reduced to “2800 to 3000 for next 18 months,” according to Mr Jackson. Both the Colorado and the Camaro are expected to account for 1000 units each.

The group also owns half of Australia’s second largest caravan manufacturer, New Age, which will also operate out of the new premises. It manufactures 2000 vans a year.

The only department that will stay behind in the old facility is the Walkinshaw Racing operation, which fields two Holden Commodore Supercars as well as a Porsche 911 GT3 program.

It is expected to remain there for another 12 months as it beds in a new partnership with United States IndyCar team Andretti Autosport and McLaren Formula One executive director Zak Brown’s United Autosports squad.

WAG has repurposed an existing three-warehouse structure in South Clayton, taking over from previous tenant, NBN supplier Corning Cables.

This is the third move for HSV, which was established by current owner Ryan Walkinshaw’s late father Tom in Notting Hill in 1987, before moving to the former Nissan manufacturing plant in Clayton in 1994.

Mr Walkinshaw, who is listed as director of Walkinshaw Racing, HSV, New Age Caravans, Walkinshaw Automotive Group, Fusion and Walkinshaw Sports, has heralded the move as “great news” on social media.

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