News National Govt, opposition deny Holden pull out plan

Govt, opposition deny Holden pull out plan

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The federal government and the opposition have quickly poured cold water on speculation Holden will pull out of Australia from 2016, both saying no decision had been made on the company’s future.

The ABC sparked concerns the car company’s Australian manufacturing operations were nearing an end with reports senior ministers believed the company would cease local production from 2016.

“It’s understood Holden will close its doors as early as 2016,” the ABC reported.

Holden issued a statement saying its discussions with government were continuing.

This was swiftly followed by comments from a spokeswoman for Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Opposition Industry spokesman Kim Carr, also denying a decision had been made.

Mr Macfarlane’s spokeswoman Kylie Barron said the minister had met with Holden on Thursday and talks were continuing as they had been.

“They haven’t made a decision about their future in Australia,” Ms Barron told AAP.

“There is no change.”

The speculation came as the productivity commission continues an inquiry into the future of the car industry that is expected to determine Holden’s future.

If the commission sides with continued government help, the commonwealth is likely to negotiate a new assistance package.

But if it recommends against ongoing funding, Holden is likely to follow Ford and close its assembly facilities.

In a submission to the inquiry, Holden said a long-term Australian policy that was globally competitive was needed to keeping its manufacturing alive in the country.

“Without public assistance, Holden’s local manufacturing cannot compete globally,” the submission said.

Preliminary findings are expected to be released on December 20 ahead of a final report by March 31.

Senator Carr urged the government to act to ensure the company would continue its Australian manufacturing operations.

“I frankly cannot understand why they haven’t had a delegation to Detroit by now to discuss these questions with the global leadership of General Motors,” Senator Carr said.

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