After 69 years, the gates at the Holden factory in Elizabeth, South Australia close for the final time
The final locally-made Holden has rolled off the production line at Holden’s manufacturing facility in Elizabeth, South Australia.
The final car, a Holden Commodore VFII Redline manual sedan in Redhot red, marked 69 years of Aussie manufacturing and the production of over 7.6 million vehicles for Australia, and around the world.
The very first Holden, the Holden 48-215 trundled off the Fisherman’s Bend production line on the 29th of November, 1948 and the last Commodore rolled off the line in Elizabeth on the 20th of October 2017 at 10:45am Adelaide time.
Holden has held a private ceremony for employees in Adelaide, and the final head count at the Elizabeth factory on closing day was 945 staff. Holden says that of all the manufacturing staff that have been made redundant, 85 per cent have sought new employment elsewhere, as part Holden’s transitioning program.
Holden’s transition centre will remain open for at least another two years on the Elizabeth site to ensure that all employees have the best transition experience possible.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said: “Treating our people with dignity and respect was always our number one priority during this transition and we’re all proud we were able to achieve that, we see it as recognition of their dedicated service over the years. With 85 per cent of all workers to date successfully transitioning, we’ve worked closely with our people to support them.
“Holden also appreciates the partnership and assistance of the state and federal governments, along with the unions, over many years.”
Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations have had a significant number of milestones over the years:
First Holden (48-215) launched November 1948 (Fishermans Bend, Vic)
One millionth (EJ) October 1962 (Dandenong, Vic)
Two millionth (HK) March 1969 (Dandenong, Vic)
Three millionth (HQ) June 1974 (Pagewood, NSW)
Four millionth (VC Commodore) June 1981 (Dandenong, Vic)
Five millionth (VN Calais) August 1990 (Elizabeth, SA)
Six millionth (VX Commodore SS) June 2001 (Elizabeth, SA)
Seven millionth (VE Commodore) August 2008 (Elizabeth, SA)
The four final cars built at Elizabeth have also been sent to Holden’s heritage collection:
- Caprice V V8 automatic (Switchblade) – Final Caprice = 7,687,672
- Calais V V6 automatic (Son of a Gun) – Final Commodore Wagon = 7,687,673
- SS Ute V8 automatic (Light My Fire) – Final Commodore Ute = 7,687,674
- SSV Redline V8 manual (Red Hot) – Final Commodore Sedan = 7,687,675
Whilst Holden manufacturing has ceased in Australia, the firm’s local design and engineering teams will continue developing cars for Australia and the rest of the world. Holden will also continue to employ 1000 direct staff and 6000 people across 200 dealers.