‘Priceless’ Holden engineers shown the door
SAE-A calls for government auto investment as 100 Holden engineers leave HQ today
26 Jun 2020
By NEIL DOWLING and TERRY MARTIN
THE Society of Automotive Engineers – Australasia (SAE-A) has called on federal and state governments to help prolong the careers of GM Holden engineering staff made redundant and to capitalise on their experience as 100 leave the company’s Port Melbourne headquarters for the last time today.
The former Australian car-maker is in the midst of closing its entire operations and retiring the historic lion brand, with the last remnants of the globally recognised engineering and design divisions winding up over the next few weeks.
The remaining 100 Holden engineers, currently employed at the Lang Lang proving ground in South Gippsland, Victoria, will depart during August.
A number of engineers have found work with other car-makers and component suppliers, including several moving to the newly established VinFast technical centre in Melbourne.
However, SAE-A chairman and CEO Adrian Feeney today urged government to play a major role in preserving the engineering expertise built up by Holden over many years.
He also described the departing engineers as “a valuable and irreplaceable asset that must be preserved and put to use”.
“These engineers are a priceless brains trust that could launch right into a new automotive venture such as the electric police car project SAE-A announced this week,” he said.
The SAE-A has proposed a specialist vehicle manufacturing industry and this week revealed images of a police car based on an EV drivetrain and using composite body technology.
A feasibility study is being prepared to test the viability of a low-volume program that could be extended to other specialist vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders.
Mr Feeney said the society was calling on federal and state governments to support the feasibility study to “save our engineering brains trust while we still have it”.
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