Carmaker Holden says there will be no forced redundancies among permanent staff as it axes about 100 casual and temporary jobs at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia.

Premier Jay Weatherill confirmed rumours that jobs would be lost due to the high dollar impacting export sales growth.

Holden's managing director Mike Devereux said yesterday that Holden would introduce a single day shift in general assembly which would maintain production volume, and reduce costs and production time per vehicle.

It would also ensure Holden remained globally competitive.


"Holden has set a very clear business strategy to grow sustainably, lower its cost base and make a small car in Elizabeth to ensure we are profitable on domestic production," he said.

Holden made around 90,000 vehicles last year.

Devereux said Holden would maintain current production volume with the single shift but the high dollar would limit further growth from exports in 2012.

Holden has a small pool of fixed term contractors and casual labourers to help manage peaks and troughs and these will be gradually reduced over the next 12 months.

The car maker's long-term manufacturing future in Australia is uncertain. Weatherill said negotiations were taking place between Holden, and the South Australian and Victorian and federal governments on assistance measures.

He said the state government had been told in December that job losses were likely, and had argued against them.

He said South Australia would do what it could to safeguard the 2000 jobs at Elizabeth and the total 8000 jobs in the industry. Without change they were not secure.