It will be "one hell of a challenge", but Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane wants Holden to continue to build cars in Australia for the next 100 years.
He's not sure how much money the federal government can offer to help save the company or where it will come from and he's urged its US parent General Motors to be patient.
A deal, he says, could take some time and if it comes will be the last handout from the commonwealth.
The minister says everyone involved needs to put politics aside and understand that there will be "one shot at this".
"This is one hell of a challenge. One hell of a solution is required," Mr Macfarlane told reporters after touring Holden's plant in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Holden boss Mike Devereux welcomed the minister's commitment to finding a solution but declined to detail just what that might involve.
The company secured an agreement last year for $275 million in government funding but was now thought to need close to $500 million before committing to develop and build two new car models from 2016.
Mr Devereux says the tour and talks are about educating the minister on just how efficient the Elizabeth plant could be.
"This is a world-class facility, building world-class cars in a very difficult environment," he said.
"The discussions that we're going to have begin today and those discussions are likely to be ongoing."
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the state government wanted Holden to have a secure future, not just for the benefit of the local economy, but to ease the concerns of thousands currently employed in the auto sector.
"There are people that are sitting around their kitchen tables at the moment just worrying about their futures," he said.
"We want to settle that. We want them to know they have a long-term future at this plant and in all the associated industries."
Mr Macfarlane says saving Holden is not just about money and the federal government intends to press on with a review of all car industry assistance by the Productivity Commission.
He says the government will also stand by its election policy to cut $500 million from auto industry support.
"It won't break the car industry. I'm confident I can get around that," he said.
"I'm not concerned about the next six months, I'm not concerned about the next three years.
"My goal is to see Australian cars built here for 100 years."
But the minister says the industry has to become internationally competitive and survive without ongoing government help.
"The next car plan I hand down will be my last car plan," he said.