With Holden set to lay off hundreds of engineers as it shuts the doors of its Australian factories, Ford is looking to grow its ranks. The Blue Oval is set to hire 150 ex-Holden engineers to help develop cars for the Chinese market.
Aside from the Ford Probe/Mazda MX-6, the collaboration between the Blue Oval and the pride of Hiroshima didn’t produce much in the way of performance cars. But a little know rebadge effort did give Ford a 4WD, rally-derived pocket rocket.
I’m honored to say that we have a few members of the B&B who are involved with Ford Australia, but sadly, Neil Trickey isn’t one of them.
Even though it’s Canada Day today, my fair nation has never managed to build its own local auto industry with any sort of distinct brand.
The next Holden Commodore will come from GM’s European product portfolio, but it won’t carry the Commodore name either.
Come 2017, Holden will cease producing cars in Australia, ending a decades long lineage of big, rear-drive, V8 powered sedans. But their high-performance HSV division is expected to survive the transition, albeit in a very different form.
While our own Ronnie Schreiber may have taken Zero Hedge to task for its inaccurate story on unsold cars, Australia is facing a situation where rising inventories have created a buyers market, just as local production of automobiles is winding down.
Holden may be losing the Commodore, but the brand will gain three new “premium” offerings, suggesting a possible direction for its famed HSV performance shop.
In the span of 24 hours, Australia inked two free trade agreements with both Japan and South Korea. Even though Holden, Ford and Toyota had already committed to ending auto manufacturing in Australia, it’s hard not to see the agreements as the last nail in the coffin of Australia’s once strong auto industry.