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By Maggie Lu Yueyang and Sonali Paul SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - General Motors Co said it would stop making cars in Australia by 2017 due to high costs and a cripplingly strong currency, fuelling fears rival Toyota Motor Corp will follow suit and put the entire local autos industry at risk. The decision by the world's second-largest auto maker to close its Holden plants in South Australia and Victoria states is the latest blow to Australia's manufacturing industry and the auto sector in particular. "No matter which way we apply the numbers, our long term business case to make and assemble cars in this country is simply not viable," General Manager Mike Devereux told reporters at GM's car plant in Adelaide on Wednesday. The decision to halt domestic production of Holden cars, long a source of national pride, will pile more pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott's conservative government, which is seeking to manage a slowdown in the $1.5 trillion economy as a decade-long mining investment boom slows.