General Motors to shut down Australian plants plants

General Motors to shut down Australian plants plants

SYDNEY - Agence France-Presse
General Motors to shut down Australian plants plants

This file photo shows Holden cars in a Holden car dealership in Sydney. GM Holden will shut down its manufacturing operations in Australia by 2017. AFP photo

Auto giant General Motors said Dec. 11 that it would close its Holden plants in Australia by 2017, prompting Toyota to review its operations as unions warned the car industry was finished.

Holden’s decision to move to a national sales company, costing 2,900 jobs, comes after Ford said in May it would stop making vehicles at its unprofitable Australian factories in 2016, with the loss of 1,200 jobs.

With Mitsubishi closing its Adelaide plant five years ago, only Toyota Australia - which employs more than 4,000 workers -- will be left making cars in the country.

Even that appeared uncertain, with the Japanese auto firm immediately announcing a review of its own position in Australia. “This will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia,” Toyota Australia said in a statement about Holden’s closure.

“We will now work with our suppliers, key stakeholders and the government to determine our next steps and whether we can continue operating as the sole vehicle manufacturer in Australia.” The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said it expected Toyota to follow Holden’s lead.