Visit to HOLDENS Elizabeth May 2015  
   
   
   
   
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            Thanks to those members who have submitted pictures for this page.   
   

 

 

 

Looking  Back                                                                              by Graeme D

 Earlier in the year I had the privilege to be invited by the HD/HR Holden club to participate in a comprehensive tour of the General Motors Holden Plant at Elizabeth.  Although public tours of the plant are no longer available, the company kindly invited the HD/HR Holden club to  visit its site in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the HD Holden released in February 1965.

 The club vehicles were displayed within the plant outside the canteen facility to enable staff to view during their lunch break.  HD model Holden production amounted to 178,927 units or various styles and were built from February 1965 until April 1966.   Only a very small fraction of these cars survive today and those remaining are generally in the hands of members from historic vehicle clubs throughout Australia.

 Many of our members will recall that this model Holden was very prone to rust in the lower doors and front guards and after 50 years, this issue would have taken its toll on many cars.

 The HD Holden was superseded by the HR model in April 1966 with 252,352 cars being built making it the second most popular Holden produced.

 Construction of the GMH Elizabeth plant began in May 1958 when the Managing Director, Earl Daum undertook a ceremonial poring of cement.  In 1960 the body hardware plant opening and by 1962, the vehicle body assembly plant was brought into operation.  The Queen and Price Philip toured the plant in February 1963.

 Although Holden vehicles were assembled in various plants throughout Australia and New Zealand, car production was consolidated at Elizabeth in 1988.

 Sadly, competition from overseas markets and the relaxation of import tariffs in more recent years has seen Holden’s market share in Australia steady decline. 

 In 2013 Holden announced it would cease building cars in Australia in 2017.  At the time of HD/HR club visit, 290 cars were being built at the plant each day however at the end of May declining orders reduced this to 240 with 270 staff being made redundant.  Despite the decline in production, club visitors to the plant in early May were able to witness the building of LHD cars for the American Police force and badged as Chevrolets.

 

 Article kindly submitted by a friend of one of our members

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