Last Holden rolls out: Australia's vehicle making industry is officially dead

The demise of Elizabeth factory brings six decades of Holden's Australian car making to an end

SUPPLIED The demise of Elizabeth factory brings six decades of Holden's Australian car making to an end

Of all the countries that weren't America that made cars, the one that made the most American non-American cars had to be Australia, with Holden as the best example. "Both companies wanted to continue making cars in this country", the statement read.

"The ramifications for the state of South Australia will be huge - with a hit to the economy and thousands of jobs under threat".

Across seven decades of building cars in Australia, Holden produced nearly 7.7 million cars, the largest of any of the local manufacturers, including 2.3 million Commodores.

Holden was marketed as "Australia's Own Car" and became a symbol of post-war prosperity Down Under despite being a subsidiary of United States giant General Motors Co.

Holden would go on to launch the EJ, FJ, HQ, Monaro and more, including the forever classic, Commodore.

"All automotive workers should hold their head up high and be very proud of what they've achieved".

"The story of Holden is the story of South Australia".

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GM Holden, whose SUV range proved unpopular with Australians, will shift production to Germany where advanced automation will help keep costs low as it revamps its lineup.

But John Camillo, state secretary at Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union in South Australia, said almost 2,500 newly unemployed will need government help finding work.

While there were other cars on the market, Holden could lay claim to producing the first vehicle made by Australians, for Australians.

"Despite the challenge Holden's closure presents, automotive workers should rest assured the State Government will continue to stand up for them and all South Australians to create new work opportunities in our state government".

Ford built 5.9 million vehicles in 91 years in Australia and Toyota 3.4 million in 54 years before they packed up.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the closure was due to a "perfect storm" of factors.

The decision to stop making cars in Australia reflects "the flawless storm of negative influences the auto industry faces", Mr. Turnbull said.

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Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union South Australia secretary John Camillo said Holden employees were without work now because of the federal Coalition's actions.

Holden started off as an Adelaide saddle-maker before adapting to the arrival of motorbikes and cars by supplying upholstery and vehicle bodies. The area already has a high unemployment rate.

Australia's final locally made auto left the production line on Friday when Holden stopped manufacturing in the nation.

"Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people", he says.

The Holden workers' union blames a lack of government support through subsidies for GM's decision to end manufacturing.

The company has been shedding staff since announcing its closure more than three years ago.

It was the end of an industry supporting 50,000 jobs and more than 120 parts suppliers across Australia.

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