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Chris Zappone
April 28, 2009 – 9:26AM

Jobs at Holden’s Elizabeth factory are safe for now after parent company General Motors said overnight it would scrap the Pontiac brand as it staves off bankruptcy.

Holden said GM’s decision had “direct implications” for the Australian carmaker, which produced 36,500 Pontiacs for export in 2008, out of a total of 119,000 cars built.

The local company said it was “disappointed” with the decision, however, “we don’t envisage there will be any job losses at Elizabeth as a result of this decision.”

Earlier this month, Holden switched from two shifts to one in order to lower its production level to meet the reduced global demand.

Sources close to the company said paring back its shifts when the global demand fell at the end of last year helped Holden avoid announcing more lay-offs from GM’s decision overnight.

However, a slump in demand in world markets may ultimately cost it more jobs in Australia.

”Job cuts are inevitable if you look at global sales figures,” said ANZ economist Julie Toth.

Global car sales have dropped by double digits since the acceleration of the global financial crisis last year. Also, consumers in developed markets such as the US and Australia have shifted demand toward smaller, more economical vehicles, a segment where GM and Holden are historically underrepresented.

”It’s not just about changing models now, it’s that people have just stopped buying cars,” Ms Toth.

Locally, the total number of new cars, four-wheel-drives and trucks sold in Australia in the year to March plummeted 22.6%, seasonally adjusted, according the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the biggest fall since 1991.

czappone@fairfax.com.au
http://business.smh.com.au/business/holden-jobs-safe–for-now-20090428-akzx.html

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One Comment

    • Jayshree
    • Posted April 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm
    • Permalink

    Good post!
    Incidentally there is an interesting website that is specifically dedicated to recession victims.It offers help and discusses all issues related to recession-www.angstcorner.com.One can also take up a survey there to gauge one’s job security. It’s worth a visit!


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