Another milestone occurred last week in the unwinding of the Australian auto industry.
In October, Ford grounded the Falcon after a 56-year production run. And on Tuesday, Nov. 29, General Motors built its last Australian engine and closed the engine line at Fisherman's Bend plant in Port Melbourne.
Australia's Wheels magazine said the plant has built more than 10 million engines in its nearly 70-year life. The final engine, a V-6 of either 3.0 or 3.2 liters (Holden didn't specify), was etched with "Last One 29/11/16" where the serial number usually goes. The engine will be displayed in the Holden Heritage Collection museum.
GM plans to end production of the Holden Commodore -- sold here as the Chevrolet SS -- sometime next year. GM has stockpiled enough V-6s to last through the end of the Commodore's run.
GM plans to continue the Holden brand by rebadging vehicles built elsewhere and exporting them to Australia.
Unfavorable exchange rates, limited market and intense competition have caused Ford, GM, Toyota and others to end production in Australia. The final Australian-built Toyota is scheduled for 2017.