Holden cuts back output
SHRINKING demand for large cars has again prompted Holden to reduce production.
Holden’s South Australian spokesman Sean Poppitt said the company was implementing a number of what the workplace agreement with staff calls ‘‘market response days’’ between now and the end of the year in response to reduced demand, but declined to put a number on it.
‘‘It’s less than 4 per cent of our total production volume for the year,’’ he said.
The Adelaide plant, which employs 2400 people, is producing 400 Caprice, Cruze and Commodore vehicles — 45 different models in total — per day.
The plant was scheduled to run up to around 240 production days this year, with a target of 90,000 vehicles for 2012. A 4 per cent reduction would reduce the vehicle production by 3600 units, or as many as nine production days.
‘‘Would we prefer not to be doing it, absolutely, but it’s not an enormous number and its crucial to us, being a small-volume manufacturer, that we are able to respond to the market and stay lean, because having excess inventory for us is the worst position we could be in at this point,’’ Mr Poppitt said.
The large car segment continues to reduce in size — so far this year it is down more than 20 per cent on last year’s lacklustre figures (although Commodore continues to outsell the Falcon by 2:1).
The 2011 tally for large car sales had shown a 20 per cent fall on the previous year.
The small car segment has grown by more than 2 per cent, although the Cruze sales are down by 7.7 per cent this year.