End of the road for Family II engine

GM Holden has decided to end production at its Family II engine plant at Fishermen’s Bend, Port Melbourne.

According to GM Holden, the engine plant is closing because the 27-year-old engine has reached the end of its useful natural life.

One factor is that the Family II engine will not be able to meet emission standards in its key export markets.

This highlights the pressure on the industry as a whole to adapt to climate change and the need for fuel efficiency.

The closure marks the end of one chapter in GM’s history, but it is important to note that GM Holden will continue production of the Alloytec V6 at Port Melbourne, and has expansion plans for this new-era engine.

Fishermen’s Bend is one of just three plants that produce the Alloytec V6 for GM’s global markets.

The engine design is adaptable to a wide variety of applications, such as future generation mild hybrid systems, turbo-charging, direct-fuel injection, dual-fuel and flex-fuel operation.

According to a release, the Rudd Government is saddened by news and concerned for the up to 531 workers directly employed, and their families, who will be affected by closure of the plant at the end of 2009.

The Rudd Government is talking to all automotive and component manufactures about ways to build cleaner, greener vehicles.

Reducing carbon emissions and improving fuel efficiency are critical parts of building a sound future for the Australian vehicle industry and creating high-wage, high-skill jobs.

“GM Holden has assured me that it aims to redeploy some workers and the long lead-time on the closure will assist with that objective,” says Innovation, Industry, Science and research Minister Senator Kim Carr.

“The company is also offering voluntary redundancies.”

The Rudd Government will work with the company and unions to ensure workers’ entitlements are paid in full.

As a way of assisting the industry to become more innovative and competitive the Rudd Government has also announced $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund and is conducting a broad scale review of the Automotive Industry to report by 31 July 2008.

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