PM Abbott Ditches Holden for BMW Bomb-free Cars

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By Athena Yenko | December 11, 2013 12:08 PM EST

Holden did not make a bid to replace Prime Minister Tony Abbott's "C1" car and the existing eight-year-old fleet of nine armour-plate caprices for the government, The Daily Telegraph reported. According to the report, it was only Audi and Mercedes and two other car companies with submitted bids.

According to a government source, Holden had already confirmed on Tuesday that its no longer interested to bid for the government secuirty cars.

With this, the car contract was reportedly to be awarded to BMW. In fact, the AFP was already using BMW X5s for security support vehicles when attending to Mr Abbott. The AFP said that the BMW was the only car in Australia which met the protection requirements needed to protect the prime minister.

With this, the Government will be needing a total of 20 armoured BMW, Mercedez or Audis for the upcoming G20 meeting happening in 2014. On a positive note, opting for these cars over Holden could save the government approximately $1million in lease fees just by using the 9 BMWs already available from the AFP.

Meanwhile, Holden denied that it decided not to bid for the government contract saying that it partnered with two armoured car companies and these companies were the ones to enter the bid.

"We have partnered with two bids from armoured plated companies. Holden is involved in two bids for this work and we would love to see the PM in a Caprice, and we have obviously provided caprice for this purpose before," Holden spokesman told The Daily Telegraph.

Holden came under pressure as it reportedly planned to close its Australian operations by 2016. As a matter of fact, Holden employees were left hanging for official announcement of closure from Holden's boss Mike Devereux.

It was alleged that the Abbott government was trying to stall the Australian car industry by cutting assisstance by $500 million. The Australian Labor Party was urging the government to restore assistance to Holden to protect workers from job loss.

However, acting Prime Minister Warren Truss confirmed on Tuesday that the government had already committed an aditional $1 billion to the industry until 2020.

"An immediate clarification of GM Holden's future plans is needed to end the uncertainty for Holden's workforce, its suppliers and the people of Australia," Mr Truss said.

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