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GM Australia Unit to Cut 500 Jobs

By Eric Volkman - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:30PM

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The company says the strength of the local currency has sapped demand for its products.

General Motors (GM -5.96%) plans to let go of several hundred of its Australian workers, the company announced Monday. The company's subsidiary Holden will cut the jobs principally because of lower demand for the locally made Cruze model.

The weakened demand, which the company ascribes to a relatively strong Australian dollar, has led it to "re-rate" production as its facility in the south of the country. This will mean a reduction in output from the current 400 vehicles per day to 335. Holden plans to enact this shift by Aug. 1.

As a result, the company will cut its workforce by around 500 people, or roughly 18% of its total staff.

The move follows reductions made by Australia's other two carmakers, the local subsidiaries of Ford and Toyota.

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