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And Then There Were None……

The earlier than expected news that Toyota Australia will also cease manufacturing came as no surprise apart from the timing of the announcement. Widely expected to be in March, it nonetheless completes the trifecta with Ford and Holden announcing their cessation of manufacturing last year.

Workers are said to be devastated at the news, whilst Toyota said: “Together with one of the most open and fragmented automotive markets in the world and increased competitiveness due to current and future Free Trade Agreements, it is not viable to continue building cars in Australia.” There’s another 2500 jobs to go with the Altona engine manufacturing plant but it reaches further than that. As one person on Twitter said: “One day I’ll be telling my kids we built cars in Australia”. That’s a fair point because now gone are the days where one might aspire to work in the car industry. It’s history that will write the future of manufacturing full stop, but now the longer term situation needs to be examined, with component suppliers, transport groups and more all to be affected by the decisions made by the last three companies. 1623653_10151881747945598_1621931517_n

Naturally, there’s fingers being pointed at the current Australian government, with the not unexpected slamming of them by Australian Manufacturing Workers Union secretary Dave Smith, saying: “I think disastrous is the best way to describe it. In the space of the few months the Federal Government has come to power they have just destroyed the car industry and they make no apology destroying it. Fifty-thousand jobs will go because of an ideologically driven position that we don’t support inefficient industry. We’re the only country in the world that thinks that.” As has also been pointed out, so many other businesses that don’t get assistance are still in operation so it again begs the question, what processes were being undertaken internally for so long that allowed this to happen? Free trade agreements haven’t helped, nor have successive governments with a lack of subsidies to keep encouraging companies to continue.

Regardless, it’s a sad, sad day for the automotive industry and the associated businesses.


  1. John Rumley says:

    Government of the people by the farmers and the miners for the good of them selves. The current government seem to share John Howard’s lack of care for working people and a hatred of union members.
    They have lost sight of the damage to business and have moved us one step closer to only digging holes in the ground.

    March 7th, 2014 at 6:52 am

  2. Paul says:

    Its encouraging to see Govt taking a stand, and showing the Car Industry for what it is – a wasteful money pit ! For too long, Govt handed out the money, and Unions asked for more of it. And so it went on and on. I don’t feel sorry for the Car Industry, as it’s a wake up call for us to truley recognise Australia’s huge cost of employment, Paid 60-90k PA + add-on award entitlements, just to put a parts together on a car……try finding a job doing that now! I do feel sorry for the people and companies that supplied and serviced the car industry. They did it tuff for many years, and will also lose their jobs and businesses. As a Car Industry employee said on National TV – “Life goes on”…yes it will buddy, but without a prospect of a job mate! Good Luck!

    March 7th, 2014 at 7:12 am

  3. CHRIS MICHAEL says:


    March 7th, 2014 at 7:56 am

  4. CHRIS MICHAEL says:


    March 7th, 2014 at 7:57 am

  5. Chin Yap says:

    What is the Liberal government doing about it? Nothing? Curl up and let it happen. Supposely probusiness government we voted has let us down. Strong mandate to stop boats has ended up stopping job creation too.

    March 7th, 2014 at 8:00 am

  6. Atila Esener says:

    Labour cost are high in Australia comparing to Asian countries. Everyone knows this. So what the Goverment should do to keep manufacturers here. To give incentives, suxh as Tax incentiveness(i.e reduce Tax 5 %) or give free land. Also for the exported cars should provide certain amount credit for imports, etc. There are many other ways to support manufacturer except than just giving money as subsidy. As a result these manufacturer would stay in Australia and still provide jobs for thousand, and technology would developed here. Now Goverment(Tax payer) will pay unemployment benefits for all those worker ( maybe 50,000 -70,000) people with supporting industries job losses. I think politicians should think and work harder to keep them here. Instead of saying no subsidy, they could be more innovative. All over the word they are similar things. I belive politician are not doing their role properly. They should more care. What would be the next one. Australia cannot survive just selling mines. In the world there is no other country with minumum problems ( no big population, big land many resources, no big army to feed etc). If politician cannot manage this country where they could manage. I belive if we would have better poltician Australia would be better condition.

    March 7th, 2014 at 8:59 am

  7. John Caldwell says:

    I agree it is sad that the automotive industry is to be no more. I have seen the demise of the automotive industry over nearly 40 years. Who remembers Leyland closing in the 70’s, hardly a whimper. Same when Lasers, Gemini’s, Cortina’s, Torana’s, Nissan’s (a few models) and many other cars were no longer made in Australia. Even Falcon shutdown (under Labor) did not cause much news. Why is it that suddenly when Holden and Toyota announce, the ceasing of production of three models (Commodore, Cruze and Camry) there is a big uproar. Governments themselves stopped buying australian years ago, both Labor and conservative, as did the australian public. If the public and governments don’t want to buy these cars, why should they be subsidised? I have always had one Australin made car.

    March 7th, 2014 at 9:51 am

  8. Brian says:

    I made a statement some 40 years ago that the unions of Australia would price themselves out of a job. When these world manufacturers cannot compete viably in Australia, they are left with obsoletely no choice but to close down and move to another country to continue business. With rampant wage claims by these militant unions creating forever increasing retail prices, no wonder nearly everything we see in the shops are imported. The unions have zero thought about the company/person employing them having to increase the price of their product to stay viable)
    Well the chickens have finally come home to roost and I have absolutely no sympathy for them.
    We have a 17.5% holiday pay loading for not working and then the employer has to employ extra staff on casual wages to do the work of that person on leave. How stupid is that? Another great?????????? labor (Whitlam) idea.

    March 7th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

  9. scott says:

    What about converting to assembly plants, to save the cost of local manufacturers tooling up? This would provide employment and other spin offs and the government could offer manufacturers good tax incentives.

    March 7th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

  10. Terry White says:

    When you look at the price of cars in the USA compared to Oz, one wonders why we propped it up so long!

    March 7th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

  11. A Sittczenko says:

    Dear Private fleet

    It appears sad on the surface, thousands of jobs, careers and skills gone, Australia’s free trade agreements, however, tax payers are footing a bill each year to prop up an industry that they will never benefit from.
    How many Australians can actually afford a new commodore, falcon, or Toyota Camry?
    We are forced to provide hundreds of millions of dollars (blackmail) of taxpayers money to foreign corporations to build cars here, when they could easily be built and supplied cheaper up the river in Asia somewhere.
    I think all Australians, even those working in the car industry, given they seek the truth of it, would all agree to stop the influence of foreign companies hold on successive Australian governments.
    I say, let them go with a thank you and a friendly wave, bye bye.


    March 7th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

  12. Wal Pywell says:

    …and who was it that allowed government workers – entitled to a car or to salary sacrifice a car – to choose any car where previously they had to choose an Australian car. That decision is what cost the Australian car industry.

    March 7th, 2014 at 3:23 pm

  13. Ric Patterson says:

    Most major world car makers with no handouts financed by the taxpayer are producing in the USA southern states which are union free and helped too by the falling value of the greenback 10% in 10 years.

    GM escaped bankruptcy to the UAW which is now the major shareholder, but the company while it remains saddled with the costs of an unproductive, over-compensated Detroit union workforce it can never return to its glorious past as an industrial powerhouse.

    Australia’s market is just too small to sustain 3 manufactures and the price of cars is little changed since 2002 but the choice of models imported despite a 100% tax rip off of the Australian consumer doubling the price of eg an Audi C7 to $107,000 compared to $52,000 in the USA.

    This is scandalous and all tax paying Australians will be much better off and drive better value cars of their choice without t these subsidies.

    As for the government it should recognise the innovative nature of Australians and improve the venture capital industry’s ability to assume risk including the banks.

    There are literally thousands of good ideas out there sitting on backburners, and off, that today without auto subsidies would be providing dare I say it millions of good jobs.

    March 7th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

  14. John says:

    The problem with the whole industry is that those Fat CEOs that sit on their backsides earning millions of dollars for what.
    Why don’t they bring their salaries down to a reasonable level.
    When Ford got the grant from the Govt what did they do they gave all the upper Managements bonuses how pathetic was that and we all stood their and said nothing.
    I don’t care how good a person is, there is no way they are worth the millions they are getting.
    Also look at Qantas how much the CEO is getting and what is he doing, just running down Qantas and blaming the workers are getting paid to much.
    Board members you are pathetic in the that you put Alan Joyce in on a ridiculous salary, so what should happen now is all Board Members should be stood down and start with some sensible people to run Qantas.
    Alan Joyce Take a look at yourself. ???? you are pathetic.
    What is the matter with us Australians how long are we going to stand for these ridiculous Salaries.
    We have everything here but both Governments are to lax and letting overseas people own us STOP this madness and all the fat millions they make it all goes overseas.
    Start thinking about manufacturing here we can be just as cheap if Coles ,Woolworths and the fuel companies keep ripping off the growers by paying pittance for the products then whacking on 400% profit on each Item to satisfy the Fat CEOS salaries.
    Fuel Companies have got to answer for the high costs look at Diesel fuel it used to be thrown away and so cheap but now look at the hefty price, WHY is this happening, and Gas what happened to this, the Government went out and paid people to convert to gas for the environment and what do the fuel companies do lift the price to nearly a dollar a litre yet we sell the gas overseas at 10 cents a litre how pathetic is that.
    We can be competitive and the Government should get some balls and say to these companies if the products are available here then they buy for Australia products but if they want to bring in some cheap crap from overseas then put a heavy tax on the products and you watch how our Industries will grow and have plenty of work.
    Its about time we started to think on what is going to happen to our grandchildren in the future we cannot sustain all these increases in our commodities.

    March 7th, 2014 at 7:30 pm