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Holden plant to upgrade
By Mike Duffy
29mar04

HOLDEN has begun a $2 billion upgrade of its Elizabeth car assembly plant in South Australia - the biggest re-investment program in the history of the company.

The program will involve streamlining large sections of the production line to prepare for the start-up of the new VZ Commodore later this year.
The modernisation is part of a global plan to allow all General Motors' plants to build common-architecture models.

Additional robots will be installed along with broad ranging modifications to eliminate assembly bottlenecks.

The company's new chairman and managing director Denny Mooney said round-the-clock production at Elizabeth, made it necessary for plant revision to be carried out at weekends.

He said when completed, the investment would boost plant capacity from the current level of almost 180,000 vehicles to around 192,000 units.

"There will be no more new jobs in the short term," he said.

"But if demand for our vehicles matches new capacity we'll grow jobs."

Mr Mooney said the $2 billion would be spent on new robots and on-line hardware.

He said trade unions had nothing to fear from wider use of robotics.

"The traditional perception of robotics is that jobs will go," he said.

"We are certainly not looking to reduce jobs - far from it," he said.

"We have proven we don't want to shrink our business.

"When I talk about productivity, there is a concern if you are going to drive efficiency and reduce cost pressures that will reduce jobs.

"In the long haul it will create jobs."

Mr Mooney said Holden was working with the state government in a bid to attract more component manufacturers to set up in South Australia.

He said the company was strategically well placed being close to huge markets in China and South Korea.

The Holden boss would not rule out a second assembly line some time in the future to build low-volume niche products.

He said he would involve himself personally in enterprise bargaining negotiations, due to start mid year.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has already flagged it would seek an 18 per cent pay increase over the three years of a new agreement.

"I am prepared to work with the unions. The adversarial approach does not work. We have to work together.

"The best thing I can do is to spend time with workers and let them understand our business models.

"I want to work with them so we can be competitive."

Full Article Here
 

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2 billion bucks to boost production from 180,000 to 192,000? That is a mistake.
 

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Originally posted by FunkyPig@Mar 31 2004, 08:53 AM
2 billion bucks to boost production from 180,000 to 192,000? That is a mistake.
*smack*
they are bringing in a redesigned chassis, not just increasing production.
Not Zeta, but a redesigned chassis.
What does this do with the GTO/Monaro? It just says Commodore, not Monaro.
Why spend 2b on a redesign when VE is on its way? They did say global plan, so its possible the VE is now VZ... Z... Zeta. HUMMMMM!?!?!?
 

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VE is Zeta, in 2006. VZ is a revision of the current VY model, releasing the new HFV6, in September this year. And this article is wrong. The Article says Holden's current capacity is 180,000. Yes Holden sold around that many cars last year in Australia, but about 50,000 of these were imported. So Holden make no more than around 130,000 now (in Australia), they are at this limit now. So $2 billion Australian (about $US 1.4 billion) takes capacity from 130,000 to 190,000. I actually read it was 200,000 a few months ago by the way. Holden will spend the money upgrading the plant for VE, but also bigger capacity.

Also, when an article says Commodore, assume it to mean Monaro as well as any other VE variants, ute, wagon, etc. The Monaro is just a 2 door Commodore.

A simplistic and depressing view would be to say the great new Pontiac GTO is a 2 door version of a 1997 Aussie taxi (That being the 97 VT Commodore).
 

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Im pretty sure holden made about 140000-15000 cars last year, ie you have to factor in the cars built for export. I think this year they want to increase production to 160 or 170 thousand
 

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so the GTO next year will be made on the VZ chassis? What does VZ have that VX or VY doesnt? Just a HFV6?
 

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I'd suggest an upgrade in some equipment levels - cosmetics.
VT to VZ are virtually all the same shell!
There is talk that the new V6 will/may be introduced.
transmissions - goodness knows.

Mike
 
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