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Holden shutdown: General Motors international boss Stefan Jacoby says Australia is better without car manufacturing

Joshua Dowling
13 January 2015
www.news.com.au

Australia is better off without manufacturing and government incentives are no way to form a business, says Stefan Jacoby, the international General Motors executive who announced the closure of the Holden factory.

In another startling revelation, Mr Jacoby also claims Mike Devereux, the Holden boss who fought to save Holden’s assembly line for two years and pushed for an increase of more than $200 million in government funding, was in fact in favour of the shutdown.

Speaking to Australian media in Detroit, Mr Jacoby was asked, with the benefit of hindsight, did General Motors make the right decision to close the Elizabeth facility.

“I think so,” said Mr Jacoby. “You have identified me as the one who made the call for stepping out of manufacturing in Australia. Yes, I am the guy who made finally this decision and presented this to the board.

“But I am of the strong opinion that this was the right thing for Australia and this was the best thing for Holden overall,” said Mr Jacoby, even though 1400 Holden factory workers will be out of a job within the next three years.

Mr Jacoby said the reduction of import tariffs and the Federal Government's decision to sign more Free Trade Agreements signalled the end for Holden’s factory in Elizabeth in South Australia and the engine plant in Port Melbourne.

When asked if he disagreed with Mike Devereux’s public push to save the factory and secure an increase in government funding, Mr Jacoby said: “I didn’t know about that … I didn’t think he was a supporter of local manufacturing. I think Mike was supporting me in the decision to make the call actually to step out.”

Mr Devereux was unavailable for comment as this article was prepared. But Mr Jacoby said the decision to close the Holden production line was inevitable.

“The decision was not made based on government policy. With or without government incentives, it doesn’t pencil,” he said. “Even if you add all the (government) incentives … it doesn’t make sense to produce (cars locally).”

Mr Jacoby said it was wrong to base a business decision on government incentives alone.

“You cannot make that business case,” said Mr Jacoby. “That’s the wrong decision.”

Mr Jacoby added: “It was not a coincidence that our friends from Toyota followed (with a factory shutdown announcement) more or less two months later”.

“Do you think they just (said) ‘Holden made this decision, now we have to make a decision as well’. No they had this in their pocket as well.”

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Stefan Jacoby and Mike Devereux
 

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Hmm, it's no secret that there where significant hurdles for the locals in the lead up to the decision to end manufacturing but this guy seems to be making up stories to make himself feel better rather than comfort the country.

There's no such thing as a brighter country with less manufacturing unless the product is meth. Toyota pulling out after Holden was not a coincidence - knock 2 legs out of a three legged table and it will fall over.
 

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It's not just one less industry its a domino effect

The parts guys who make not just fasteners for cars don't have their biggest customer anymore so they will fall and another local industry will fall with them

I wonder how the guys who make Volvo and Kenworth Trucks will get on?

Surely they use local parts guys too?
 

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Been a Holden fan since I was a kid. Back in the 60's and 70's Holden needed 4 factories to meet demand. In the 80's they only needed one. In the 90's efficiencies were such that they only needed 2/3rds and an export market. Today more efficient factories can produce Australia's demand with less than a tenth of the output.
24 million people is tiny. USA sells Australia's annual car sales per month. Factory efficiency will keep improving.
No way to stop the industry closing down and moving on. As tough as it is.
 

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When asked if he disagreed with Mike Devereux’s public push to save the factory and secure an increase in government funding, Mr Jacoby said: “I didn’t know about that … I didn’t think he was a supporter of local manufacturing. I think Mike was supporting me in the decision to make the call actually to step out.”
Mr Jacoby said it was important to be transparent with Holden workers, dealers and customers.
So... Which high-up GM Executive is full of ****...?
 

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OK OK ....

So lets be smart in Australia and allow Grey imports and cut the BS with manufactures, inefficient distribution and dealer rip offs
THAT have been taking AUSTRALIANS for $$$$ RIDE for god knows how long.
We need to treat them how they treated us for so long for good measure.

I now want to see AUSTRALIANS GET REAL BENEFITS since there will be NO local car manufactures 2017.
LETS SEE IF WE GET THE CHEAP USA CAR PRICING or even the cheap EUROPEON / UK pricing instead of the BS LIP service them telling us we Australians are getting a good deal already...... BS!

You know to ship cars by car carrier all the way to far away AUSTRALIA is NOT THAT EXPENSIVE as they MAKE OUT. In bulk you would be shocked how cheap.
Australian need to stop being done over and demand better pricing .... after all the plastic well built cars of today are a throw away commodity after 10 years so why should Ozzies pay a premium ?

Looking forward to cheaper prices or self imports as a consequence.
 

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ROFL Cheaper cars wont happen

Just look at recent events for proof

A free trade agreement with Japan eliminating a 5% Tarriff should result in 5% cheaper cars but in total its about 1% if that

Manufacturers work on supply and demand and I sure as **** dont want to drive some hand me down Japanese grey market POS
 

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Relax everyone, it's for our own good. Thanks Mr Jacoby, that's real kind of you.
Politics await, no doubt.
 

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When asked if he disagreed with Mike Devereux’s public push to save the factory and secure an increase in government funding, Mr Jacoby said: “I didn’t know about that … I didn’t think he was a supporter of local manufacturing. I think Mike was supporting me in the decision to make the call actually to step out.”

Mr Devereux was unavailable for comment as this article was prepared. But Mr Jacoby said the decision to close the Holden production line was inevitable.
You guys finally have a proof of what I've been saying about Devereux for years. He's not a Holden convert/nice guy. It's all just PR. Reuss is the same. Devereux at Holden was talking about closing down local manufacturing from day one at Holden, same as Mooney. Reuss took a while, but he was against local manufacturing as well. All these foreign MD paratroopers are flown in to Melbourne on lucrative ISP contracts (seven figure salaries, all expenses paid), and their only objective is to make a mark and to improve their CV. Holden care factor = 0.

And Jacoby's job objective is very clear - he is in charge of all the unpopular decisions, he takes it all on his shoulders. He's the the bad cop, and Detroit are the good cops.

The last nice guy to run Holden was Hananberger - apart from a great leader he was also genuinely a nice bloke, and a true Holden fan.
 

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You know to ship cars by car carrier all the way to far away AUSTRALIA is NOT THAT EXPENSIVE as they MAKE OUT. In bulk you would be shocked how cheap.
It's peanuts.

It's cheaper to ship a car from a German port to Melbourne than it is to transport a car by road from Brisbane to Melbourne.

The reason why all these different brands are available in Australia? It is a very very lucrative market compared to most other countries. You can sell 3000 cars a year, have a dealer network, employ 20+ of staff, pay large executive salaries, pay for all advertising, and still make a profit.

The final price of cars in Australia has very little with their manufacturing costs. The main factor is the competitors' pricing: if you can bring a car and match the equipment/features of it's main competitor at the same price level, you have a business case.
 

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“But I am of the strong opinion that this was the right thing for Australia and this was the best thing for Holden overall,” said Mr Jacoby, even though 1400 Holden factory workers will be out of a job within the next three years.
Well if my leg is full of gangrene then yes, I might be better off with out it... but the question is how and why did Holden get so unhealthy. Pretty nasty comments; would he line up those 1400 workers, walk down the line, shake each of their hands and say the same thing?
 

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Been a Holden fan since I was a kid. Back in the 60's and 70's Holden needed 4 factories to meet demand. In the 80's they only needed one. In the 90's efficiencies were such that they only needed 2/3rds and an export market. Today more efficient factories can produce Australia's demand with less than a tenth of the output.
24 million people is tiny. USA sells Australia's annual car sales per month. Factory efficiency will keep improving.
No way to stop the industry closing down and moving on. As tough as it is.
2012 US census indicates the population of the New York city area alone to be 19.8 million people. Capitalism is cruel. You will have to get over it.
 
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