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The Forum > Article Comments > The end of the Australian car industry > Comments

The end of the Australian car industry : Comments

By Don Aitkin, published 26/2/2014

It was probably easier for a Coalition Government to do it than a Labor Government, but even the latter would finally have had to say, 'Enough is enough'.

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Well, the tripling of the cost of energy, in real terms, is what shut down our car industry, along with the multifaceted outsourced nature of manufacture, and the cascading costs that in turn created, is the real cause of the shutdown.
Years ago, we should have emulated fiat, with all production completed on a single site, by a single entity, with just one cost structure, and just one tax bill, rather than the dozens which cascade through the whole industry, quite massively driving up retail prices!
If there was a single stand alone tax to pay; and if that car could have been a gas powered ceramic cell electric, that produces no smog whatsoever ever and little if any Co2, we could have exported the lowest cost, cheapest to run, cleanest greenest car to the rest of the world, in millions per! The energy coefficient of the gas powered ceramic fuel cell is currently around a 80% which is around four times better than conventional engines! a fact that would quadruple the Klm's to the cubic metre, and make this vehicle not only the quietest, but the cheapest to run. A cubic metre of NG has the same calorific value as a litre of unleaded petrol, and even with a fuel excise imposed, some suppliers are on the public record saying the could supply gas at 40 cents a cubic metre!
Moreover, if said production site could have been built alongside a cheaper than coal thorium power plant, also owned by the company, to reiterate, we could have built cars for less than the Chinese! And think, a gas powered electric could be refueled in less time than it takes to drink a coffee!
And we could build it, via an employee co-op, if we had but one pragmatic government in the land! Just one!
The only real impediment to said model/car industry and mind boggling world wide sales, is the rusted on ideological imperative, and the cultural cringe that almost always accompanies it!?
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Wednesday, 26 February 2014 9:30:47 AM
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Even Judith Sloan's calculations don't take account of all of the costs of car industry support. Australia's FBT rules favour vehicle use in general, and large vehicle use in particular, in an effort to encourage people to drive the kinds of cars Australia makes. Some government agencies have policies preferencing local cars.

I often disagree with John Quiggin, but on this issue he raises a good point its time to drop all of the hidden support that props up the car industry to the detriment of the taxpayer, driver and environment,

http://johnquiggin.com/2014/02/10/after-the-car-industry-revised-and-updated/
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 26 February 2014 2:34:45 PM
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15 years of falling productivity growth is the real culprit. Neglect of this means only a matter of time before your competitors catch up.
Posted by Croc099, Wednesday, 26 February 2014 4:22:18 PM
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The Australian car manufacturing industry is a perfect example of the unintelligent & futile quest for contnued growth. The managers are ok, they're waling into retirement with a lot of money put aside over the years. They don't give a crap for the workers. The Unions ? Don't make me laugh, they're the ones who caused the situation in the first place.
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 26 February 2014 7:28:12 PM
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Don't be too worried about the workers either, because in Holdens case, the average production worker will walk away with a lousy 300 to 500K thank you very much. I have no doubt that away from the sympathy cameras, they are fighting back the joy.

The whole point is, we as a nation have plain and simply made a rod for our own backs.

The most powerful tool in this country is the consumer, and the consumer has said no to our locally manufactured cars. That's what has made the car industry fail.

The cause of that failure is costs, because our rules and regulations, along with our high dollar have made it impossible for local manufacturers to compete.

Best we get a handle on it as this is the tip of the iceberg.
Posted by rehctub, Saturday, 1 March 2014 11:09:45 AM
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Good-bye Gmh Good bye Ford Good bye Toyota Wait they are all overseas ownership let them go
Lets get a Real car Industry going one made by Australians for Australian needs.
Get some creativity in there why build the same as the as everyone else
My Advice is travel around Australia see what we use our cars for and build us something that will last.
I personally have some car ideas but would like to hear from others
Posted by Aussieboy, Sunday, 2 March 2014 10:23:25 AM
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