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Tony Abbott says Holden must boost export strategy

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Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has indicated that a future Coalition government would demand Holden cuts production costs and increase exports to secure any increase in financial assistance.

As the ABC reports, Abbott said the Coalition would possibly boost a $275 million government grant to keep Holden making cars in Australia but only if the company cut costs.

Holden is to cut 400 jobs from its Adelaide plant and is also in the process of negotiating a new labour agreement with its workforce.

There have been reports that the company wants $265 million in extra subsidies from the federal government. This figure is on top of the $275 million which has already been pledged by the federal and state governments.

While Abbott said a future coalition government could increase funding if conditions are met, he still maintains that it would cut $500 million from the Automotive Transformation Scheme.

"We would certainly be prepared to look at further generous assistance but we'd want to make sure, and this is very important, that Holden had credible plans to reduce their cost of production and to boost their volumes and the only way to boost their volumes is to have a serious export strategy," he said.

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