SA to ask GM to consider giving up Holden

Car giant General Motors will be asked to consider giving up the Holden brand if a rival car producer can be lured to take over the company’s local manufacturing operations.

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South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says the idea of another company using the Holden name on its vehicles is just one of a range of issues to be discussed with the company as part of its exit strategy.

The government has previously revealed it has already been approached by international vehicle companies that might be interested in taking over Holden’s manufacturing facilities.

“It may be that a particular car manufacturer might want to set up here but use the equity that’s in the Holden brand to continue making cars,” Mr Weatherill told reporters on Wednesday.

“That’s obviously something that’s the property of General Motors at the moment and, presumably, they have an interest in keeping it because it has value for them.

“But that is something that we would want to advance in any discussions with Holden.”

The state government will also ask the company to accept the level of assistance it needs to provide to its own workers and those in other companies that will be directly affected by its decision to stop local car production by the end of 2017.

That will include allowing workers the opportunity to have paid leave to do work experience in other industries where new positions might be available.

“There is a very big exercise in sitting down with Holden and making sure that they accept their responsibilities to their own workforce,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Those responsibilities travel further than just simply paying a redundancy payment.”

Holden executive director of corporate affairs George Svigos said General Motors would not give up the brand to a rival producer.

“GM is completely committed to the Holden brand,” Mr Svigos said.

“We intend to continue with the Holden brand for many, many years to come.”

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