Ford and Holden are laying off hundreds of workers at their Australian plants as sales of domestic brands continue to take a beating.
Ford will cut 330 jobs at plants in Geelong and Broadmeadows in Victoria state, while Holden is cutting 170 jobs in Adelaide. Ford and Holden have committed to keeping their domestic production facilities going until 2016 and 2022 respectively, but the strength of the Australian dollar, high export tariffs and demand for smaller, more fuel efficient cars (rather than the large sedans traditionally built by Ford and Holden) have led to declining fortunes for the two automakers.
Holden is facing its worst sales numbers in nearly two decades, with demand for the Commodore sedan at an all-time low and the Cruze compact facing a tough field including the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, which top Australias sales charts. Both Ford and Holden have received hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants over the past year, with many pundits questioning their wisdom as the auto industry’s fortunes continue to sink.