HVIA sees little skills wastage in Holden demise

National vehicle manufacturing impetus has already passed from cars to trucks

HVIA sees little skills wastage in Holden demise
Todd Hacking


The skillsets of automotive industry workers set to be displaced by the departure of Holden are still highly sought after in Australia, the Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) emphasises.

While mourning the passage of Holden into national history, HVIA chief executive Todd Hacking emphasises that Australia is a world leader in the design and manufacture of high productivity trucks and trailers.

"Australia’s heavy vehicle industry directly employs over 36,000 people and manufactures, services and repairs some of the world’s most efficient, safe, innovative and technologically advanced vehicles," Hacking says. 

"We have a thriving and robust local industry that comprises hundreds of innovative trailer, specialised vehicle, component, equipment and technology manufacturers and suppliers in addition to the product assembly of global heavy vehicle brands such as Volvo, Mack, Kenworth, DAF and Iveco."

Read what the HVIA presented to the Productivity Commission inquiry, here

Hacking notes the range of roles in the industry is at least the equal of anything car-making offers.

"The heavy vehicle industry flies under the radar in some respects, but it is a dynamic and innovative part of the Australian, and indeed the world economy," he says.

"Our members are significant employers in every capital city and across regional Australia.

"With the industry’s endless stimulating and rewarding career paths, our industry offers astoundingly diverse professional opportunities.

"We have engineers working with the latest 3D design techniques and advanced manufacturing processes, working alongside an array of highly skilled tradespeople and technicians, and their colleagues in warehousing and logistics. 

"Of course, all of that is enabled by staff in every conceivable role in administration, finance, HR, training, sales, marketing and support roles.

"The heavy vehicle industry is abundant with wonderful stories of school-leavers who have started on the floor and are now executives of international companies.

"While Holden’s announcement . . . was devastating, we hope that many of their talented people will find new opportunities in our industry - an industry that has its own great Australian story."

Part of the sentiment is echoed on social media by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).

"Sad news . . .  that Holden will retire its brand in Australia and NZ, however automotive production in Australia continues to thrive," the ATA says.


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