SAD DAY FOR CAR MAK­ERS

BLACK FRI­DAY FOR FAL­CON, CRUZE

Cockburn Gazette - - DRIVEWAY - Bill Buys

FORD and Holden sel­dom have things in com­mon.

But last Fri­day, Ford built its last Fal­con and Holden qui­etly pro­duced its last Cruze.

Both events re­flected Aus­tralian man­u­fac­tur­ing’s de­pen­dence on gov­ern­ment fund­ing, and fol­lowed sim­i­lar clo­sures in past years by Nis­san and Mit­subishi, which suc­cess­fully switched from man­u­fac­tur­ing to im­port­ing.

The Cruze – an Aus­tralian­made Dae­woo – cost tax­pay­ers nearly $180 mil­lion and Holden ad­mit­ted it could not have built the 126,000 cars with­out Fed­eral and state gov­ern­ment help.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment of the day, headed by ‘Kevin 07’ Rudd, poured nearly $150 mil­lion into the ven­ture and the South Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment made up the the bal­ance.

The fi­nal Cruze, an SRI Z-se­ries hatch, was do­nated to the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion.

Holden will still pro­duce other ve­hi­cles un­til late next year, when it and Toy­ota will shut their pro­duc­tion plants and join the other for­mer Aus­tralian car builders as im­porters.

Holden's last Cruze leaves the pro­duc­tion line.

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