General Motors will end all auto manufacturing business in Australia by and the end of 2017 citing the high cost of and the steady rise in imports from Southeast Asia.
“The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson.
The Holden unit posted a loss of 153 million Australian dollars last year. It serves as a major engineering and design center for the automaker, notably for rear-wheel drive cars such as the Chevrolet SS.
GM said about 2,900 jobs will be affected by the closure.
The Australian auto industry has always received government support for but because of soaring manufacturing costs, the strong Australian dollar, cheap imports and weak exports and the Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plans to cut $457 million in subsidies to the car industry by 2015, it has made exports uncompetitive and boosting the appeal of imports.