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Holden Reaches Golden Milestone With 50 Years Of Exports

9 November, 2004

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Holden will this month mark 50 years of exports representing more than 600,000 vehicles and almost four million engines shipped to all continents except Antarctica.

Australia's largest and longest-running vehicle export program has grown from a handful of FJ sedans sent to New Zealand in November 1954, just six years after Holden produced Australia's first locally built car.

Holden now sends its vehicles to the United States, Middle East, United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and across the Asia-Pacific under General Motors brands including Chevrolet, Pontiac and Vauxhall.

Vehicles based upon the Commodore, Statesman, Caprice, Monaro coupe and Holden Ute are sent to various markets in left-hand-drive or right-hand-drive configuration. In addition, four-cylinder engines produced at Port Melbourne have been exported since 1981.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, today said 50 years was a major milestone to have been delivering cars and engines around the world.

"This is a proud achievement and recognition of the valuable role in design, engineering and flexible manufacturing which Holden fills for GM," Mr Mooney said.

"Holden has supported leading brands in a number of important world markets over five decades. The fact that our products have found popular appeal way beyond the Australian market has helped us to generate critical production levels in our South Australian and Victorian operations.

"We have built exports into a billion dollar business each year which means we can make the size of investment required to stay viable in Australia. Most importantly, Holden has spent 50 years selling Australian know-how, ingenuity and flair around the world which is an extremely satisfying feeling."

A total of 613,126 vehicles and about 3.9 million engines were exported from 1954 to the end of last year. Holden has exported 148,753 vehicles and 838,821 engines in the past five years, contributing almost $5.8 billion to Australia's balance of trade.

Holden last year exported 36,069 vehicles and 137,078 engines and earned a total of $1.24 billion including vehicles, engines and components. The company expects to exceed 50,000 vehicle exports in a single year for the first time in 2004.

Holden's first export program of FJ sedans to New Zealand in late November 1954 was quickly followed by exports of the first completely knocked down (CKD) Holden packs for offshore assembly. By 1966, Holden vehicles and CKD packs were being shipped to more than 60 markets.

The HQ model range released in 1971 proved a hugely successful export. The biggest single year for Holden exports was in 1973, when built-up and CKD shipments reached a record 41,181 units, representing 25 per cent of Holden's total annual production. The 1970s remains the most successful decade with 197,288 vehicles exported.

In the 1980s, while exports of Commodore and long-wheelbase derivatives continued, the emphasis changed from vehicles to engines. The first shipments of Holden Family II four-cylinder engines, manufactured in Port Melbourne, were sent to the United Kingdom in 1981.

One million engines had been exported to markets by 1988 and three million by 1999, by which time Holden engine and component exports had generated more than $3 billion in export revenue.

Holden's current four-cylinder engine export markets include South Korea, China, Thailand, South Africa and South America. Holden last year started exporting Global V6 engines from its new $400 million engine facility at Port Melbourne, capable of producing 900 engines a day or 240,000 engines a year.

Holden returned to volume vehicle exports in 1998 with the commencement of a major program involving shipments of left hand drive versions of VT Commodore to the Middle East and Brazil.

In 2004, Holden's largest vehicle export market is the Middle East, where the Chevrolet Lumina (Commodore) sedans and long wheelbase V8-powered Chevrolet Caprice sedans (based on Statesman/Caprice) are the region's top selling General Motors large passenger vehicles. The Chevrolet Caprice Royale was recently named Saudi Arabia's 2004 Car Of The Year.

Commodore is exported to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Syria, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, South Africa, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Brunei and Brazil. The Caprice and Statesman are exported to Middle East regions and New Zealand. Shipments to South Korea will begin early in 2005 under the Daewoo brand.

A vehicle based upon Monaro is exported to the United States as the Pontiac GTO. Monaro is exported to the Middle East regions, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The Holden Ute is exported to South Africa and to New Zealand, where the Holden Adventra, Crewman, Cross8 and One Tonner are also sold. In 2004, Holden Special Vehicles, in conjunction with Holden, commenced its first export vehicle program to the United Kingdom (HSV GTO), and the full HSV range is exported to New Zealand.

Further background information on Holden exports follows. Historical pictures of Holden exports, Holden vehicles in other countries and current General Motors product exported by Holden are available at media.holden.com.au under the Exports category.

HOLDEN EXPORT MARKETS - 2004

VEHICLE EXPORTS

 

 

Market

Local model

Closest Holden equivalent

Middle East – Chevrolet - LHD

Lumina LS

Commodore Executive

 

Lumina S

Commodore SV6 with 175kW

 

Lumina LTZ

Commodore Berlina

 

Lumina SS

Commodore SS

 

Lumina SS Coupe

Monaro CV8

 

Caprice LS V6

No domestic equivalent

 

Caprice LS V8

No domestic equivalent

 

Caprice LTZ

Statesman

 

Caprice SS

No domestic equivalent

 

Caprice Royale

Caprice

United States – Pontiac - LHD

Pontiac GTO

Monaro CV8

New Zealand – Holden – RHD

Full range

Full range

South Africa – Chevrolet – RHD

Lumina SS Sedan

Commodore SS

 

Lumina SS Ute

Commodore SS Ute

Brazil – Chevrolet – LHD

Omega CD

Calais

Malaysia – Chevrolet – RHD

Lumina LTZ

Berlina

Thailand – Chevrolet – RHD

Lumina LTZ

Berlina

Singapore – Chevrolet – RHD

Lumina LTZ

Berlina

Korea – Daewoo – LHD (from 2005)

Daewoo (to be named)

Statesman/Caprice

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