Holden to end local manufacturing

Sixty-five years after it first began producing cars in Australia Holden has confirmed it will cease local manufacturing in 2017.

Holden released a statement saying it would "transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand" from 2017.

The move will end weeks of intense speculation and years of uncertainty surrounding the General Motors’-owned brand’s Adelaide production line and Victorian engine plant from the company that was formed in 1856 and first started manufacturing cars locally in 1948.

The announcement will send shockwaves through the struggling automotive industry, which has warned of upwards of 50,000 job losses.

It is also almost certain to force Toyota to follow suit, which relies heavily on the 160-odd component makers that rely on economies of scale to maintain competitive prices.

But the determination of the recently-elected Tony Abbott-led Liberal government to cut vital funding to the industry also contributed.

2013 will go down as a dark year for the local automotive industry, with Ford confirming earlier in the year it would cease vehicle manufacturing by 2016.

For almost two years the local manufacturers have been pitching its case for additional funding, pointing to overseas funding models that deliver generous incentives for automotive manufacturing plants.

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