The Australian division of carmaker General Motors
Co will cut 500 jobs, after losing market share to cheaper imports
due party to the strong local currency, it said Monday.
"The appreciation of the Australian currency means that making things in this country is 60-per-cent more expensive than it was 10 years ago," GM Holden Ltd chief executive Mike Devereux said.
Holden, one of the top three local car manufacturers along with US maker Ford Motor Co and Japan's Toyota Motor Corp, has received more than 2 billion Australian dollars (2.07 billion US dollars) in government subsidies over the past 12 years.
Holden, which employs 4,000 people and will cut production from 400 to 335 cars a day, is unviable without the state support.
Devereux said Holden was suffering because other countries, including Japan and the United States, were holding down the value of their currencies.
"Importantly, the currency plays being made by other countries mean that we are not competing on a level playing field, not even in our own backyard."
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