Holden is recruiting 150 Australian engineers to expand General Motors’ research and development operations in Australia.

The Melbourne-based team will be embedded in GMs’ global Advanced Vehicle Development division, which is building the company’s electric and autonomous cars of the future.

The new recruits, made up of graduates and experienced engineers, will increase Holden’s design and engineering workforce to more than 500 employees. And the company says it will spend up to $120 million annually on automotive R&D in Australia.

Both Ford and Holden are transitioning their Australian businesses for a future focused on design and engineering, having closed down their local manufacturing facilities.

Holden’s parent company General Motors is investing heavily in the mass production of self-driving cars and plans to bring at least 20 new all-electric models to market by 2023.

“GM is determined to be the first company to bring safe, autonomous vehicles to market — not within years, but in quarters. Make no mistake, we’re moving to a driverless future — a future of safer roads and zero crashes,” said Mark Reuss GM Executive Vice President and President, Global Product Group and Cadillac.

GM Holden Executive Director – Engineering Brett Vivian said Australian engineers had played a critical role in vehicle development for Holden and GM globally since 1946, and this would continue with yesterday’s engineering announcement.

“We want to harness the best young engineering minds in the country,” Vivian said.

“This is an incredible opportunity to work on GM’s global products and to be at the forefront of industry innovation. We’re looking for forward-thinking people with a passion for creating revolutionary solutions; people who can work collaboratively and have strong communication skills. Automotive engineering experience is desired but not a pre-requisite.”

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