Holden lion to continue to roar

The manufacturing operations are closing but Holden says it still has a bright future in Australia.

The factory may be going but the Lion will continue to roar.

No longer a manufacturer of cars, Holden will still play a leading role in Australia's automotive sector, importing and selling a range of vehicles through its dealer network.

The company has plans to launch 24 new models featuring 36 new drivetrain combinations by the end of 2020.

All Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions at the company's Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria while the company will also retain its engineering capabilities.

Holden's Global Design centre will stay based in Port Melbourne, contributing to local and global product programs.

The company will retain more than 300 designers and engineers beyond 2017 as well as about 700 corporate staff.

Across the 200 strong dealer network, another 5000 to 6000 people will be employed.

As it moves to become an import-only company, more than one-third of Holden's future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe, w ith vehicles also being sourced from North America and Asia.

Perhaps most importantly to local Holden fans, the famous Commodore nameplate will also live with the release of a new, fully imported model in 2018.

What remains to be seen is what impact the end of manufacturing will have on Holden's sales in Australia, which have already taken a dive.

To the end of September this year, demand for Holden cars was down 12.4 per cent to 71,312.

Sales of Commodores were also down 12 per cent to just more than 17,000.

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