End of an era for Holden as last V6 engine rolls off the production line

The 2011 Holden Commodore VE Series II in a flying V formation - image courtesy of Holden.

Holden has reached the end of an illustrious era after building its last Australian-made V6 engine, ending 68 years of Holden engine manufacturing in Australia.

The symbolic last V6 engine was built on November 29 at Holden’s Port Melbourne plant, emblazoned with the laser etched words “LAST ONE 29/11/17”.

A total of 1,137,282 HFV6 engines were built at the plant since it began manufacturing High Feature V6 engines in 2003.

The last V6 engine precedes the full-scale closure of vehicle production late next year, as the company continues to transition from manufacturing to becoming a design, engineering and importing business.

The historic last V6 engine to be produced on Australian soil will become a museum piece as part of Holden’s heritage collection.

The move signals the end of manufacturing at the Port Melbourne site which has operated since 1948 and is widely considered as the birth of the Australian car industry.

Brakes put on Holden manufacturing

GM-owned Holden put the Port Melbourne plant up for sale in August as it prepared for a closure of its manufacturing arm in late 2017.

Since full scale manufacturing began at the Port Melbourne plant, Holden has built more than 10 million engines in Australia.

While the last V6 engine has been rolled off the production line, the company will continue to build V6-engine powered Commodores until the company’s planned manufacturing closure next year.

Holden has confirmed its 175 employees, made redundant by the closure of the Port Melbourne manufacturing plant, will have access to transition services and training as part of its $15m contribution to the Federal Government’s Growth Fund to support manufacturing employees.

Earlier this year the Port Melbourne team was recognised as the Most Valuable Plant for Productivity across GM International, the arm of General Motors that manages its overseas divisions.

The last Australian-made V6 to roll of the production line follows last months final Holden Cruze being produced at the Elizabeth assembly plant in South Australia.