A new report from Reuters suggests that General Motors will shutter its Australian brand Holden by 2016, ending GM manufacturing there. Although GM has yet to officially announce the shutdown plan, such a move has reportedly been announced in Australian media.
Holden said in a statement that in October it held an 11.4-percent share of the Australian new-car market. The brand and is responsible for development of several unique vehicles and platforms -- including the rear-wheel-drive sedans that underpin the 2014 Chevrolet SS -- and manufactures several models in Australia. However, Holden has lost money for years and has reportedly received "billions" of dollars from the Australian government; Reuters reports that Holden lost the equivalent of $139 million in 2012.
The announcement comes on the heels of GM's decision to shut down the Chevrolet brand in Europe by 2016, so that the automaker can focus on its Opel and Vauxhall divisions there. GM also sells some Opel models in Australia, though it's unclear if those would still be sold after Holden is shuttered.
In the company's 2012 year-end report, Holden said it had 4278 employees and built 55 different vehicles. The company manufactured 82,172 cars in Australia in 2012.
Ford announced earlier this year that it, too, will close its Australian factories by 2016. The decision, which will cut about 1200 jobs in Australia, came because Ford was also losing money on manufacturing operations there. In 2012, Ford Australia reportedly lost the equivalent of $137 million. Ford, however, will continue to import models from overseas to the Australian market, but will not build or develop any new cars there.