Mike Devereux.
Mike Devereux.

Holden: We'll close up shop by 2017

THERE is just one car maker left standing in Australia and, in the aftermath of Holden's concession it would be gone by the end of 2017, Toyota is warning that it too is on the brink.

After a week of brinkmanship by the Federal Government, including a vow to give Holden no extra funds and demanding a decision on its future, Holden's owner, General Motors, and its local managing director Mike Devereux confirmed the worst.

Its two plants in Victoria and South Australia would be emptied within four years - at a cost of 2900 jobs - with the Holden brand surviving only as a sales outfit.

Mr Devereux said the decision was made by GM management on Tuesday afternoon, immediately after Mr Devereux faced a grilling by the Productivity Commission.

Holden's chief rival Ford announced earlier this year that it would leave Australia in 2016. Mitsubishi departed in 2008.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane each vowed this afternoon to work closely with Toyota to help it survive in what has been a "perfect storm" for car makers.

Toyota now faces every challenge which destroyed Holden and Ford's manufacturing here, but must now grapple with having to pay more for components.

In a statement, Toyota wrote the loss of Holden will place "unprecedented pressure" on its suppliers and on Toyota's ability to build cars.

Toyota would now work with suppliers and government as it decides "whether we can continue operating as the sole vehicle manufacturer in Australia".

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is warning the death knell sounded by Holden could eventually cost the jobs of 50,000 in related industries if Toyota crumbles under what is now a heavy burden.



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