HOLDEN has confirmed it will end production of the locally-made Cruze small car on October 7 — the same day Ford will shut the Falcon factory in Broadmeadows.
But while the lights will be switched off forever at Ford’s facility, Holden will keep building the Commodore for one more year before its factory closure.
The end of Cruze production means 320 jobs will be axed, leaving about 1000 workers on the assembly line in Elizabeth, South Australia.
Holden employees were informed of the date and the job cuts at the end of shift on Friday.
The end of Cruze production means Holden will scale down to building 165 cars per day, instead of the current rate of 240 cars per day.
A statement from Holden said there is “absolutely no change” to Holden’s plan to continue building Commodore at Elizabeth until the end of 2017.
“Holden’s key priority at all times is to support our people and to manage this scheduled wind-down of manufacturing in a way that treats our employees with respect and dignity,” the Holden statement said.
“All Holden employees have counselling services available to them, as well as career coaching, training and job searching assistance.”
Meanwhile, the 200 workers at Holden’s engine factory in Port Melbourne are expected to be out of a job by the end of this year, when the V6 plant closes.
Holden will stockpile engines to be fitted to the Commodore in its final year of production.
In February Holden announced the Cruze would be replaced by the Astra hatchback, imported from the UK.
But this is the first time Holden has confirmed the exact date Cruze would go out of production, and the exact number of employees affected.
In an unusual coincidence, October 7 is the Friday before Australia’s greatest motor race, the Bathurst 1000, an event which over the decades helped establish the reputations of both Holden and Ford.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling