Over $2.5 million worth of V-8 engines as well as manual and automatic transmissions have been stolen from South Australia's GM Holden manufacturing facility. According to a report by Adelaide Now, the engines and transmissions were easily stolen because the facility lacked an effective tracking system. The engines were then sold at a fraction of their value throughout Australia on eBay and to local car clubs.
The stolen V-8s retail for around $10,000 a pop in Australia, and are used in everything from the Holden VE Commodore and Ute, to the American market Chevrolet Caprice police car. On the black market, the engines were going for approximately $1500-$2000.
The theft wasn't discovered until Australian police found a V-8 engine stolen from the Elizabeth, South Australia plant during an unrelated investigation. Holden wasn't aware it was missing engines until South Australian police had contacted it.
Australian detectives say that despite the plant's security checkpoint for trucks entering and exiting the facility, the engines were stolen because the factory had "no effective tracking system" in place to make sure that engines and transmissions delivered to the plant were actually used on the production line.
Police suggest a small group of factory insiders may have been directly responsible for the crime, with a larger group complicit in the thefts.
"GM's quality, security, tracking and inventory system controls are robust and have stood the test of time," said Greg Martin, GM's executive director of global communications. "These systems make the attempted theft of parts easily detected and rare. Incidences such as the one in Australia, allegedly by employees, are very unusual and we are assisting authorities in their ongoing investigation."
Source: Adelaide Now, GM