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End Of An Era As Ecotec Winds Down

Monday, July 26, 2004

Available for immediate use

End Of An Era As Ecotec Winds Down

The last Holden ECOTEC V6 engine will roll off the Port Melbourne production line next week after a stellar 16-year career powering Australia’s - and New Zealand’s, favourite cars.

Holden Engine Operations workers will complete the last engine, which will be framed for display at Holden’s Fishermans Bend facility, on Friday August 6.

Production is being wound down for the introduction of the state-of-the-art, all-aluminium Alloytec V6 engines, powering the new VZ Series Commodore, Calais and WL Series Caprice and Statesman long wheelbase models.

Alloytec production has commenced at Holden’s new A$400 million Global V6 engine facility at Port Melbourne, which is producing Global V6 engines both for Australia and other markets in the world.

More than 1.4 million ECOTEC engines have been produced at Port Melbourne since 1988 for Australian and export use.

ECOTEC-powered cars have graced the roads of New Zealand, the Middle East, Asia, South Africa as well as Australia.

ECOTEC began production in 1988 in the VN Commodore range and, received a significant upgrade in 1995 to increase performance and efficiency. A supercharged V6 variant was developed in 1996.

ECOTEC has powered the following Holden vehicle ranges:

• Commodore - VN Series (1988), VP Series (1991), VR Series (1993), VS Series (1995), VT Series (1997), VX Series (2000), and VY Series (2002);
• Ute - VG Series (1990);
• Statesman/Caprice - VQ Series (1990), WH (1999), and WK Series (2003); and
• Crewman and One-Tonner variants (2003).

Holden’s Manufacturing Director Jeff Jamieson said ECOTEC had served Holden extremely well for well over a decade.

“ECOTEC was a fantastic engine that was able to provide great power and efficiency over a number of years. It was also able to be refined to ensure less exhaust emissions without diminishing performance,” Mr. Jamieson said.

HEO employees will mark the final ECOTEC engine with a ceremony in the plant once the last engine is produced.

Mr. Jamieson said the majority of employees that worked on ECOTEC had been redeployed to the new Global V6 plant in Port Melbourne that produced the all-new Alloytec V6.

The Alloytec V6 engines will deliver more peak power and considerably more torque across the rev range than the current 3.8 litre ECOTEC V6 while maintaining a similar level of fuel economy and producing fewer emissions.

Alloytec V6

--- ENDS ---

Editors’ footnotes:

- Accredited media can find photographic images of the end of ECOTEC production under the Manufacturing link, and the new all-aluminium construction high feature Alloytec V6 engine under the Alloytec link on the Holden media site at:

- ECOTEC is an acronym for: Emissions and Consumption Optimisation through TEChnology.

- Since its New Zealand launch in August 1979, Holden’s Commodore/Calais carline has been placed in the top three best selling car models for every complete year except in 1993 and 1984 when it was placed fifth.

It has been the country’s best selling new carline for the last four years and is again the leading one YTD June 2004 - 380 units ahead of its nearest rival, Ford’s Falcon/Fairmont range (3,244 units and 38% of the large car segment versus 2,864 units 33.6%).

Sales in the year 2003 totalled 7,096 units when the carline comfortably outdistanced its nearest rival by 576 units and held 38.9% of its market segment; 6,127 units were sold in 2002, 6,284 in 2001 and 4,945 in 2000.

- In VT Series guise (launched in New Zealand in October 1997), the Commodore has the distinction of having been accorded the New Zealand Motoring Writers’ Guild 1997 Car of the Year award - the only Australian produced car to win that accolade.

- Holden New Zealand Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Michigan, United States of America. Established as General Motors New Zealand Limited on January 4, 1926, the company changed its name to Holden New Zealand Limited on July 15, 1994.

Following the sale of its long established Trentham site (in Wellington’s Hutt Valley area) the company moved to Auckland on July 1, 1999 and is now, essentially, a distribution, sales and marketing organisation.

The company markets the Holden Barina, Astra, Vectra, Monaro, Commodore Executive, Acclaim, S, SV8 and SS, the Holden Berlina and Calais, Statesman and Caprice, and Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) passenger cars; Holden One Tonner, Holden Ute and Holden Crewman four-door Ute, all-wheel drive Crewman Cross 8 Ute, Rodeo and Combo, HSV Maloo light commercial vehicles; Holden Cruze all-wheel drive vehicle; and Isuzu light, medium and heavy-duty trucks.

And since January this year, Holden New Zealand Limited became responsible for the distribution of the Saab 9-5 sedan and sports estate, 9-3 sport sedan and 9-3 convertible; and in March, the GM Daewoo Matiz city car, Kalos hatchback and sedan, Lacetti sedan, Nubira wagon and Tacuma multi-purpose vehicle.

- This year, Holden New Zealand Limited celebrates the golden anniversary of the arrival of the Holden nameplate in the country during November 1954. Apart from this anniversary, 2004 also marks:

In July, the 5th anniversary since Holden New Zealand Limited’s relocation - from Wellington’s Hutt Valley area - to Auckland and the 10th anniversary since the company’s renaming to Holden (from General Motors New Zealand Limited) and the adoption of a single brand strategy for its passenger car and light commercial vehicle ranges (Isuzu - New Zealand’s best selling truck for the last four years and the leading one in 2004, remained/remains the company’s heavy commercial vehicle proposition);

In August, the 25th anniversary since the launch of the Commodore nameplate (New Zealand’s best selling carline for the last four years and the leading one in 2004);

And at year-end, the attainment of 100,000 Commodore V6 and V8 engined model sales since August 1979.

--- oOo ---

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