GM Holden Downsizing Design, Engineering Contract Workers

“We scaled up to match the projects we were getting from (GM)…with contract staff. But now with (GM program) reductions, we’re scaling down appropriately,” a spokesman says.

GM Holden Ltd. is laying off an unspecified number of contract design and engineering workers after parent General Motors Corp.’s decision to abandon product programs based on the Australian-developed global rear-wheel-drive architecture.

GM, along with other North American auto makers, currently is marshalling its forces to meet consumer demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and cross/utility vehicles in light of unpredictable fuel prices.

John Lindsay, media relations national manager, says no permanent positions are involved.

“There’s been a number of global programs either cancelled or put on hold,” he says. “Because we do global work through our global design and engineering, essentially we’ve been reducing our workforce to the appropriate level to meet the revised workload.

“We scaled up to match the projects we were getting from (GM)…with contract staff. But now with (the program) reductions, we’re scaling down appropriately. It’s something we’ve done before. It’s part of our normal business practice.”

Lindsay also says design work under way at GM Holden is not being moved overseas.

“The projects that have impacted us are ones that have either been cancelled or delayed,” he says. “They (are) not projects being moved from here to elsewhere.”

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