GM North America President Mark Reuss, who formerly served as chairman and managing director of GM’s Holden operations in Australia told reporters on Thursday the company wants to build up on its success in the market.
The comments from Reuss come a week after GM Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann confirmed in a report GM was pulling its Opel operations in Australia. Ammann said GM was closing a distribution center in the country for its European Opel brand and it would no longer import Opel vehicles to sell in Australia.
Earlier this week, GM union workers in Australia agreed to a wage freeze after the company announced in April it planned to cut 500 employee positions in Australia, citing weakening demand for the Holden Cruze and a high Australian dollar that is making it more expensive to build cars in the country. GM has about 4,200 employees in Australia.
“We work with those unions really well and effectively there to have a viable manufacturing base and that’s what we’ve done for a long time, and so I don’t see that changing,” Reuss told reporters at a student internship program at the University of Detroit Mercy.
According to official statements, another Big Three manufacturer, Ford Motor Co. has announced that it plans to stop vehicle production in Australia in 2016, with 1,200 jobs being cut in the process.