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Small car plant secures 1,200 engineering jobs

The Rudd Government last month announced it would support GM Holden to build an all-new, fuel-efficient small car locally, supporting up to 1,200 jobs immediately.

In conjunction with the South Australian Government, the new front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder car will be manufactured from the third quarter of 2010 at the GM Holden Elizabeth plant in South Australia. Design and engineering work will be provided from Port Melbourne in Victoria.

The new car, which is part of the global Delta small car platform, will include both petrol and diesel variants in its first phase, making it fuel-efficient and low-emission compared to other, larger cars on the market.

Manufacturing of the new car will support up to 600 jobs at Holden and up to 600 jobs in the automotive supply chain. Further phases of the new small car will create even more jobs, says a spokesperson for the Rudd Government.

The new small car will redefine GM Holden in Australia, adding a second line alongside the Commodore and adding capacity that will reinforce the long-term sustainability of manufacturing in Australia.

“The new car will provide Australian motorists with an Australian-made car that is around 20 per cent more fuel efficient and produces 20 per cent less in carbon emissions than current larger vehicles,” said a spokesperson for the Rudd Government.

Families travelling 20,000km a year are expected to save almost $500 per annum in fuel costs and produce around 1.7 tonnes less in carbon emissions.

“The Holden small car lays the ground-work for the introduction of hybrid engines and alternative fuel systems, including LPG and E85 (ethanol-blended fuel) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas),” said the spokesperson.

The Commonwealth will contribute $149 million over three years starting in 2009-10 to the project. The deal is the first green car grant of funds since the launch of the Government’s $6.2 billion New Car Plan for a Green Future in 2008, which is designed to transform the Australian automotive industry to produce fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles and create high-skill, high-wage jobs.

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