End of the line for Holden's engine plant
With the letters "Last One" and the date "29/11/16" stamped on the back, the very last Holden six-cylinder motor rolled off the company's Port Melbourne production line at 10.47am on Tuesday, bringing to an end almost seven decades of local engine manufacturing.
For the 175 staff at Holden's HFV6 production line, the event was very much ceremonial. The last customer engine was actually built at midday on Monday, as part of a stockpile of motors for the company final 2017 run of Commodores.
Staff gathered at the plant on Tuesday morning as final engine was built, with Holden's management team on site to mark the occasion. The production line team were then given lunch, a polo shirt, a yearbook and photo to commemorate their "contribution to our company and our industry", before being shown the door for the very last time.
According to Holden, in the lead up to Tuesday's engine plant closure, 57 employees had already left with 80 per cent securing employment and the remainder not seeking further employment, the majority retiring.
The 175 people made redundant by the engine plant closure have access to "a suite of transition services" and up to $3000 in approved training services.
The final V6 engine is destined for Holden's museum collection.
Holden has manufactured at the Fishermans Bend site since 1936, made engines there since 1948, and the Port Melbourne factory has been the centre of the company's engine production since 1981. In total, more than 10 million engines have been built in Port Melbourne for domestic and international markets. Since 2003, a total of 1,137,282 HFV6 series engines have been built at the plant. Of these, 699,806 were for domestic vehicles, and 437,436 were exported.
"The best way we can honour our people and their legacy is by building a bright future and that's exactly what we're doing," said Mark Bernhard, Holden's chairman and managing director.
"While it was an emotional time to see the last engine built today, we are proud to retain a significant presence in Australia for the long-term."
- Brisbane Times