Holden to quit Australia in 2016?

Talks continue between Holden and the federal government amid claims from senior ministers the car manufacturer will pull out of Australia from 2016.

An ABC report last night that senior ministers believe the company will cease local production from 2016 was quickly followed by a Holden statement saying its discussions with government were continuing.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Opposition Industry spokesman Kim Carr also issued statements denying a decision had been made.

Mr Macfarlane met Holden officials yesterday and his office said talks were continuing as they had been.

"They haven't made a decision about their future in Australia," Mr Macfarlane's spokeswoman Kylie Barron said.

"There is no change."

Senator Carr urged the government to act to ensure the company would continue its Australian manufacturing operations.

"I frankly cannot understand why they haven't had a delegation to Detroit by now to discuss these questions with the global leadership of General Motors," Senator Carr said.

The speculation came as the productivity commission continues an inquiry into the future of the car industry that is expected to determine Holden's future.

If the commission sides with continued government help, the commonwealth is likely to negotiate a new assistance package.

But if it recommends against ongoing funding, Holden is likely to follow Ford and close its assembly facilities.

In a submission to the inquiry, Holden said a long-term Australian policy that was globally competitive was needed to keeping its manufacturing alive in the country.

"Without public assistance, Holden's local manufacturing cannot compete globally," the submission said.

Preliminary findings are expected to be released on December 20 with a final report due by March 31.

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