British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta is seeking to buy some of Holden's assets at its shuttered Adelaide factory with a view to building electric cars on the site, the South Australian government says.
Mr Gupta has declined to comment on his plans and Holden has also offered no response, but South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has written to the car company revealing some details and seeking its support.
“I understand that the GFG Alliance is today lodging a conditional bid to purchase certain assets from the former General Motors facility in Elizabeth, South Australia in advance of your public auction,” the treasurer said in his letter dated January 17.
“Based on discussions I have had with the GFG Alliance I understand that, should they be the successful bidder, they intend to develop the site as a manufacturing base for an electric vehicle utilising the innovative i-Stream technology developed by their partner, Gordon Murray Design.
“We are incredibly excited and supportive of the GFG Alliance’s bid and subsequent plans to ensure the continuation of our very proud history of automotive excellence and innovation in South Australia.”
Mr Koutsantonis said the company’s plans would put South Australia at the forefront of the inevitable transition of the Australian market to electric vehicles.
He asked Holden to consider the GFG Alliance bid and the potentially significant benefits to the automotive industry and the broader community in South Australia.
In December, Holden confirmed the sale of its assembly plant in Adelaide to a Melbourne-based developer.
The Pelligra Group plans to turn the site into a business park with a range of industrial, manufacturing, construction, engineering, automotive and commercial uses as well as retail and recreational facilities.
The company also opened a public auction of its automotive manufacturing assets on the site earlier this month.
Mr Gupta already has major interests in SA after taking over the Arrium steelworks in Whyalla along with the company’s other operations across the country.
But a spokesperson said there would be no comment in relation to Holden.