While Ford Australia has locked the gates at its Broadmeadows assembly plant for the last time today, Holden has simultaneously pulled the Holden Cruze small sedan off its production line in Elizabeth, South Australia.
The Cruze will be the last four-cylinder small car built in Australia, and its departure will leave the Holden Commodore, Toyota Aurion and Toyota Camry as the only remaining Aussie-built cars.
The clock is ticking for those models too: both Holden and Toyota will cease their manufacturing operations entirely by the end of 2017.
And with Commodores now being built-to-order, Holden’s Elizabeth plant will be a quieter place until it shuts up shop in late 2017.
With the departure of the Cruze, some 270 workers will also be leaving Elizabeth forever over the next two months. Roughly 900 workers will remain to crew the Holden Commodore production line.
Holden says each of those workers has been given access to “transition services” and up to $3000 worth of re-training to help them move to new jobs.
“Holden’s business is changing and we are building a bright future,” Holden Managing Director Mark Bernhard said today.
“But it is equally important to recognise and honour our people and our heritage.
“We’re incredibly proud of our manufacturing history and our legacy; I want to thank every Holden employee, and all those people in the supply chain, for their personal contribution to our industry and our company.
“Those who were involved in the Cruze project have a strong, and deserved, sense of pride at what was achieved in terms of project development, management, engineering, design and, of course, production.”
The Cruze entered production at Elizabeth in early 2011, after two years of being imported from GM’s South Korea plant. The last Cruze to leave Elizabeth was a Holden Cruze SRi Z-series hatchback, and it left the line at 8.30am in South Australia.
All up, Holden’s Elizabeth plant has built a total of 126,255 Cruze sedans and hatches – the last sedan and hatch of which have been donated to the Leukaemia Foundation to be raffled off in a fundraiser.
Current Cruze owners will continue to be supported with Holden confirming that it will provide sufficient supply of spare parts for at least the next ten years, with warranties also being honoured for the standard three years and 100,000km.
Cruze stocks will be run out over the next two months, as Holden prepares its showrooms for the arrival of its all-new small car – and the Cruze’s replacement – the Astra, which is set to go on sale from December 1 2016.