none
none

End of the road for carmakers: Where now?

31-08-2010
by 
in 
End of the road for carmakers: Where now?
The decision by Holden and Ford to close their doors in Australia has sent shock waves through the manufacturing sector.
 
The closure of these two automotive giants represents the end of an era for Australian car manufacturing.
 
Ford, Australia’s oldest automotive manufacturer, will close its Australian manufacturing plants in October 2016, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.
 
And General Motors has confirmed it will cease manufacturing in Australia the following year.
 
Toyota has also recently announced it will cease manufacturing in Australia in 2017.
 
More recently SPC Ardmona announced it would sack 73 workers at its Goulburn Valley processing plant as the struggling company fights for survival.
 
Just as the government has closed the door on future hand-outs to the automotive industry, it has firmly rejected SPC's plea for $25 million towards a restructuring package.
 
The government’s stance has renewed debate around government-subsidised industry sectors.
 
But would these government bailout packages make any difference?
 
They are merely a band-aid solution for a far more serious problem – it is becoming increasing difficult to compete against cheap labour nations.
 
So is there a future for manufacturing in Australia?
 
Absolutely. But obviously we must find ways of doing it “smarter” than many of our competitors.
 
If there is to be no more large-scale car manufacturing, it is imperative to look for viable alternatives.
 
To achieve this a collaborative approach is needed between all relevant stakeholders – government, unions and employers. There is a need to focus on developing skills within the work force.
 
Rather than throwing taxpayer dollars into flailing Australian manufacturing industries, a more considered approach is needed. Perhaps we should focus more on technology design and development.
 
Perhaps we should become a more “specialized” within the manufacturing sector.
 
There is no reason why Australia could not become a world leader in designing and building car components or in designing computer systems in cars.
 
To achieve this, there must be an agenda for growth.
 
A long-term economy plan is urgently needed with consensus and consultation from all key players.

Related news & editorials

  1. Laurence Marchini
    28.07.2017
    28.07.2017
    by      In
    One of Donald Trump’s grand schemes post inauguration was going to be to accuse China of currency manipulation. His contention was that the government was driving down the value of its currency to give its manufacturers an unfair edge in world markets.
    That he failed to formally make the claim was... Read More
  2. 28.06.2017
    28.06.2017
    by      In
    This may seem like a dumb question, but how can it be that a supposedly market-led education system cannot cater for the requirements of business and industry?
    We hear (and write) much about initiatives to accelerate STEM learning in schools. Our universities are growing like never before, pumping... Read More
  3. 11.05.2017
    11.05.2017
    by      In
    Any day now… surely… it must happen. The Prime Minister, riding the crest of a wave from a creative Federal Budget that for once has yielded more plaudits than brickbats, will announce that the steel used in all new major infrastructure projects will be Australian steel. Or have I been reading the... Read More
  4. 13.04.2017
    13.04.2017
    by      In
    Even with the government’s recent success in improving tax conditions for Australian companies turning over $50 million or less, smaller businesses still face many challenges in today’s Australian economy. And one of the biggest of these is maintaining cashflow.
    Big business, it seems isn’t playing... Read More