German defence contractor Rheinmetall is considering the GM Holden Elizabeth site as a site for building armoured vehicles.
The Australian Financial Review reports that part of the site in Adelaide’s outer north is being looked at for the production of armoured vehicles and as part of a regional hub.
Rheinmetall said that many of the Holden workforce’s skills – and those at Adelaide’s Australian Submarine Corporation – “could be useful” in armoured vehicle manufacturing. There were differences, however, in assembling cars and making Rheinmetall’s vehicles.
“Armoured vehicle manufacturing is more of a low-volume bespoke operation with a differently skilled workforce,” the company’s Adrian Smith told The AFR.
Rheinmetall, which according to its website is “Europe’s foremost supplier of army technology”, has been replacing the New Zealand Army’s fleet of medium-heavy trucks. The replacement trucks were made in Britain.
Smith said that the feasibility of using Australia as a regional manufacturing hub for South East Asia was being explored.
“We have commissioned a number of studies to quantify the costs and benefits to Rheinmetall and the broader Australian economy of local manufacture for export,” he told.