8 Aug 2009

Holden gets Australian government lifeline

1:34 pm on 8 August 2009

Struggling car maker Holden has obtained relief from its financial woes with the federal government granting a $A200 million lifeline.

The line of credit follows the Obama administration in the US bailing out Holden's troubled parent company General Motors, News Ltd reported on Saturday.

General Motors lost more than $US80 billion in the past four years.

The US government took a 61% stake in the car maker in a bid to rescue it from the worst manufacturing slump in decades.

Holden spokesman Scott Whiffin told AAP it had not drawn from the lifeline.

The Australian company employs 6,500 people and builds car bodies in Adelaide and engines in Melbourne.

It has also struggled to fight the fallout from the global downturn, with an alarming slump in sales this year.

Industry Minister Kim Carr told The Daily Telegraph] the $A200 million lifeline had "been in place for a while" and was part of Canberra's efforts to protect 200,000 automotive sector jobs.

The federal government has already given Holden at least $A179 million in support to build a new "green" car.