Holden rolled the last Commodore off the assembly line in northern Adelaide spelling the end of the Australian car manufacturing industry.
The last car — a gleaming VFII SSV Redline saloon — left the Elizabeth plant with 955 factory workers in attendance to mark the occasion. Outside the factory, dozens of enthusiasts gathered with various generations of Holdens — some dating as far back as FJ models of the Fifties.
The plant opened in 1963 and at its peak, between June 2003 and July 2005, produced 780 vehicles per day, including the VY Commodore, the Adventra, Crewman, Caprice and Statesman. It had been producing vehicles for 69 years.
The demise of Holden, which has been owned by General Motors since 1931, follows similar shutdowns; earlier this month Toyota shut up shop as did Ford last year and Mitsubishi in 2008 due to global economic pressures which have been battering the local automotive industry. Holden says 85 per cent of its employees have moved to another job and it will keep its Employee Transition Center open for another two years. It produced 7.7 million cars — the largest of any of the local manufacturers — with 2.3 million of them being Commodores across seven decades in Australia.