10 Dec 2013

No decision made on Holden yet: company

12:23 pm on 10 December 2013

No decision has been made on the future of Holden in Australia, Holden general manager Mike Devereux has told an inquiry into the auto industry by the Productivity Commission.

AAP reports there has been speculation the company would announce it was shutting down Australian manufacturing operations at its submission.

"This industry is an important part of the economy," Mr Devereux said in Melbourne in Tuesday. "Hopefully through my testimony today I can continue to make that case."

The federal government is considering whether to provide a new line of assistance to Holden or let the market take its course as it did when Mitsubishi closed in 2008.

Mr Devereux would not speculate on a timeline for the decision.

Monash University political economist Remy Davison says the Australian car industry receives about $A1 billion per year in subsidies.

He says Holden's subsidies equate to about $A18 per head, annually.

Dr Davison says that if Holden pulls out, 50,000 people in the automotive industry could lose their jobs, including component suppliers that rely on car manufacturing.