GM has opened a billion-rand Holden V6 engine plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria. The engines will be exported from Australia and also feature in 2004-spec Chevy Luminas sold in South Africa.

GM has opened a billion-rand Holden V6 engine plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria. The engines will be exported from Australia and also feature in 2004-spec Chevy Luminas sold in South Africa.


The Port Melbourne facility is the second GM operation to manufacture the global V6 engine and is also the General's largest single investment in Australia in more than 20 years.

These engines will power Holden Commodores from 2004 and plans are being developed to export to other markets in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Commodore is currently available in South Africa as the recently-launched Chevrolet Lumina.

The global V6 engine family was developed by GM Powertrain and can be used for front, rear and all wheel drive vehicles. The all-aluminium engine is available in three displacements - 2,8-, 3,2- and 3,6-litre - with the capacity to be expanded to 3,8 litre and is also compatible with hybrid electric applications.

GM chief executive Richard Wagoner said the plant was an indication that Holden was becoming a GM centre of expertise, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Holden's chairman and managing director, Peter Hanenberger, said the Port Melbourne facility was a major part of Holden's strategy to become a niche global manufacturer servicing a range of GM markets.

The new plant has three machining and sub-assembly lines for the engine's block, crankshaft and cylinder heads. The engines are then built on a common assembly line before being sent to domestic or export customers. The layout allows for the removal of internal forklift usage, an important employee safety initiative.

The billion rand investment is part of Holden's R10 billion capital investment programme in Australia between 2001 and 2006.

Original article from Car