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Holden gears up for Cruze at SA plant

Holden has announced the company is gearing up for the return of a second shift at the company’s Elizabeth Park plant in November to coincide with production of the Holden Cruze.

Holden CruzeHolden was forced to make cut-backs to production as the GFC hit, combined with high fuel prices steering customers away from the mainstay of Holden’s Elizabeth Park plant, the Commodore. South Australian Minister for Industry and Trade Tom Koutsantonis said it had been a rough time for the industry and its employees, but things are looking up.

“Holden had to make some tough decisions to protect jobs during the global financial crisis. But the company is bouncing back,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“Not only will all employees be able to resume full time work from November 15, the company expects to hire more staff to support the additional shift.

“It’s hoped the workforce will be boosted further still as demand increases.”

Holden has plans to begin local production of the smaller 4-cylinder Holden Cruze which is expected to utilise the spare capacity of the Elizabeth Park plant due to the shift away from the company’s larger 6-cylinder Holden Commodore line.

Holden is also expecting to launch the new VE Series 11 Commodore in the coming months, with part of the second shift expected to be working on VE Series 11 Commodore production.  will be launched by the company in coming months.

“The State and Federal Governments have poured significant resources into the plant,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“In December 2008, Cabinet approved a $30 million dollar grant to support production of the Cruze.

“The project has also received significant assistance from the Federal Government, which last year executed a $149 million dollar grant from the Green Car Innovation Fund.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the car industry is still a major player in South Australia’s manufacturing industry.

“The plant has shown its resilience by weathering a global storm that saw many manufacturers around the world close their doors.”

Holden is the only car manufacturer still based in South Australia, with Mitsubishi pulling out of the state and Australian manufacturing altogether in 2008.