General Motors' Australian unit Holden has made its four millionth export engine.

The Australian variation of such a milestone event saw the Victorian state minister for manufacturing and export 'help' package a 'Global V6' engine for its journey overseas.

Holden has produced a range of four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines for export at Port Melbourne since 1981, and currently holds contracts to supply Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America. It also builds engines for Holden's own Commodore and its export variants.

GM Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney said engine manufacturing for export and domestic markets was an important part of Holden's operations and complemented the company's vehicle exports.

"The fact that we have built four million engines for other markets around the world highlights how serious GM is about manufacturing in Australia. This is a significant contribution to our global operations and has involved many collaborations worldwide," he said.

Mooney acknowledged the overwhelming contribution to the four millionth export tally made by the Family II four-cylinder engine, which has been produced since 1981.

"Family II represents the bulk of our four million export engines, and our celebrations of the first three million engine exports were all due to Family II," Mooney said.

"However, since production of the Global V6 began two years ago, it has been making some important inroads into our export volume, and will continue to do so."

The four millionth export engine - a 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 - is to be shipped to Sweden, where it will become the powertrain in a Saab 9-3 Aero.

Saab is one of several customers for the Holden V6 engine; another is Alfa Romeo.

Current Family II four-cylinder engine markets are South Korea, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and China.

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