General Motors' Australian arm Holden will build an engine plant, with the aim of doubling engine exports to around 400,000 per year. When it launches prodcution in late 2002, it will build a new family of V-6 engines ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 liters.
Holden's wily chairman Peter Hanenberger played one state against another to get the best deal in subsidies. But little was said about where the engines will be shipped. The Daewoo debacle has thrown up an extra obstacle. as Holden originally expected to export engines to Korea. Now, Hanenberger says they will send them to Europe 'for sure,' possibly to the United States 'at least in the short term,' and to Isuzu in Japan. China also is a possibility, he said.
The Australian market remains fond of cars and pickups with big engines. Holden will produce a 2.5-liter for th eAustralian market. The company may add an optional supercharger, as with the current Ecotec models. The plant also could supply future Saabs and Opels with smaller versions of the engine.