Adelaide Holden Plant Slashes 170 Workers

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 2, 2012 6:11 PM EST

Dwindling sales of locally built car models plus a high Australian dollar have forced auto maker Holden to slash 170 positions from its Elizabeth, South Australia manufacturing factory.

The latest job cuts comes after the company in February axed 200 jobs, and after it received a $275 million taxpayer-funded bailout six months ago, which according to State Opposition spokesman for Industry Steven Marshall, was a "failure."

"This latest adjustment is necessary in order to continue our plan to sustain auto manufacturing in Australia for the long-term and the implementation of GM's plan to build two new models in Australia through until 2022," the company said in a statement on Friday.

"Situations like this are always difficult and this decision has not been made lightly."

"We will work together with employees and representatives to ensure that people are able to make informed decisions about their future.

The job cuts would be channeled through voluntary redundancies, the company said.

"We fully anticipate all separations will be voluntary. They will be done in line with our EBA conditions," Holden spokesman Craig Cheetham told News Limited.

"Every effort has been taken to avoid this decision, including the use of market response days. However current new car demand necessitates a reduction to permanent employees," the company statement said.

The 170 job cuts will bring its Adelaide workforce to below 2,100.

Holden likewise pointed out the jobs cuts are not in anyway related to the closure of car-parts manufacturer Autodom. On Thursday, Autodom announced it is closing a plant in Adelaide and two in Victoria, leaving 400 without jobs.

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