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Thursday, May 30, 2024


THE Lang Lang Proving Ground, the testing facility for Holden’s cars for over half a century, is up for sale for the second time in 12 months.

VinFast purchased the facility from General Motors last year, but the Vietnamese automotive manufacturer has decided to cease its Australian operations.

“Due to unexpected situations brought about by COVID-19, we have to relocate our operation back to Vietnam to ensure product development progress,” a representative from VinFast said.

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“In the long-term future, VinFast still considers Australia as one of its strategic markets.”

The Lang Lang facility is being offered for sale with vacant possession, with CBRE’s Dean Hunt and Stephen Adgemis appointed to run an Expressions of Interest campaign closing on November 18.

“The Lang Lang proving ground is one of the most-advanced facilities of its type in the world, with an expansive road network and improvements including a dedicated emissions-testing facility,” Adgemis said.

The Lang Lang facility is approximately one hour south-east of the Melbourne CBD. Pic: CBRE

“It holds a unique place in Australian motoring history, and the fundamentals that made it so successful for General Motors and Holden, and attracted VinFast to the property, still ring true.

“As an expansive site within a high-density employment catchment area, it offers considerable potential.”

The Lang Lang facility has served as the test area for Holden’s vehicles for over 50 years, giving engineers a dedicated place to develop and assess cars away from the general public and away from prying eyes.

The 877 hectare site situated 90 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, and along with  houses 44km of roads, including a 5.5km ride and handling course, 1.8km noise testing course, 98-metre diameter skid pan, and the iconic 4.7km four-lane high speed banked oval on which many of Holden’s touring car racing machines have clocked miles.

Opened in 1957, its layout and facilities were developed off the back of the experience learnt from General Motors’ proving grounds in the United States, and it remained an important proving ground for international products despite Holden ending the manufacturing of cars in Australia in 2017.

Only as recently as 2018 did GM and Holden spend over $15 million on upgrading its facilities and repaving work.

Win Percy attempted to hit push a HRT Group A Commodore past 200mph on Lang Lang’s high speed bowl in 1991. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

When General Motors announced in February 2020 that the Holden brand would be retired at the end of the year, a statement said that GM was “exploring options” around the future of the Lang Lang Proving Ground.

Transport magnate Lindsay Fox was reported as a potential buyer for the facility at the time, with his LinFox Property Group also owning the nearby Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and Australian Automotive Research Centre near Anglesea.

The site was eventually purchased by VinFast last September to dovetail with the company’s Melbourne-based product development operation, although the latter was wound down in May.

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