November 6, 2003

GM opens U.S.$400 million engine plant in Australia

Port Melbourne, Australia – General Motors Holden division opened a U.S.$400 million global V6 engine plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria yesterday, the company’s biggest investment in Australia in 20 years.

The plant will produce up to 900 engines a day or 240,000 engines a year, with capacity to expand to 300,000 engines a year, which will ultimately create more than 500 jobs. Holden expects to generate up to $450 million a year in V6 engine exports, boosting the company’s contribution to balance of trade to more than $1.5 billion a year.

The global V6 engine family will be exported to GM brands around the world and power future Holdens for domestic and overseas markets.

GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rick Wagoner, today joined senior representatives of Holden, the Federal and State Governments and industry unions to inaugurate the new plant, situated to the west of Holden’s facilities in Port Melbourne.

Mr Wagoner was joined by Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Peter Hanenberger; the Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Steve Bracks; Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon. Ian Macfarlane; and ACTU President Sharan Burrow,

More than 2000 Holden employees were invited to the event, celebrating the most significant development for Holden since it invested $300 million in a high-volume four-cylinder engine plant and foundry which opened at Fishermans Bend in 1981 and remains an integral part of Holden’s operations.

The Port Melbourne facility is the second GM operation to manufacture the global V6 engine.
Holden will share this responsibility with the GM of Canada plant in St Catharines, Ontario, which commenced production in March 2003. St Catharines also produces the Generation III 5.7 litre V8 engine for Holden and Holden Special Vehicles cars.

The first engines from the Port Melbourne plant are destined for GM de Mexico, where they will be installed into the 2004 model Buick Rendezvous crossover vehicle. These engines will power future Holdens from 2004 and plans are being developed to export to other markets in the United States, Europe and Asia.

The global V6 engine family boasts all-aluminium construction and comes in three displacement sizes – 2.8 litre, 3.2 litre and 3.6 litre – with the capacity to be expanded to 3.8 litre.
The all-aluminium construction offers features such as dual overhead camshafts, 24-valve per engine and continuously variable cam phasing. The engines can be used for front, rear or all wheel drive vehicles and are compatible with hybrid electric applications.

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