By Mark Kleis
Thursday, Mar 22nd, 2012 @ 2:39 am
 
General Motors' Australian division Holden, which is best known for its high-power rear-wheel-drive range of sedans, coupes, wagons and 'ute pickups, has been given a positive future outlook thanks to a hefty investment split between regional governments and the automaker itself.

The investment will be to the tune of $275 million from the Australian and South Australian governments, which will in turn enable Holden to invest in excess of $1 billion in its vehicle development and manufacturing program based in Australia. In total, Holden plans to invest some $4 billion into the Australian economy over the course of the next 10 years.

The announcement was made today by a wide range of politicians and GM officials, including Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux, who said, "Co-investment of this kind is critical for our industry and helps Australia compete against other car making countries that protect their industries through tariffs and/or financial support."

As a direct result of the commitment from the Australian taxpayers, Holden promises to design, engineer and build cars - including two all-new models - that will go into production at Elizabeth, South Australia, in the second half of this decade. GM isn't giving up too many details about the two new products, but it did say that they will be underpinned by global architectures and "bring fuel-saving technology, connectivity and safety technologies to Holden's portfolio."