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Holden may quit car making earlier than expected

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Holden may stop its Australian car making operations before its planned departure date of 2017 because its component suppliers may not last that long, according to an industry figure.

The Australian reports that Goran Roos, chairman of the South Australian government’s Advanced Manufacturing Council believes that, despite Holden’s wish to remain until 2017, the company may have to quit earlier.

“General Motors has said 2017, but what happens if one of their key component suppliers keels over before then, or if they lose key personnel?” he told the Australian.

“Even if they want to stay, they won’t be able to.

“It would mean that there is no desire or intent to exit earlier, but they just don’t have a choice.

“It is my personal opinion that they will (leave before 2017).”

There have been estimates that as many as 95 per cent of South Australian component suppliers will die as a result of the death of car manufacturing. Professor Roos said that these figures are realistic.

There also fears that Ford will not last in Australia until its planned departure time of 2016.

In April, Ford spokesman Neil McDonald told the Herald Sun the company remains committed to an October 2016 departure date. However, the company has not guaranteed that date.

According to the AMWU, possible changes to the Federal Government’s Automotive Transition Scheme could jeopardise Ford’s plan and cause it to leave earlier.

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