I like Dons posts......
But I’ll have to say the one about the Aussie car industry ignores one particular fact.
Our car market on its death bed ignored one simple fact. That the customer vehicle expectation had moved beyond the crap we were dishing up to the market.
The market was wanting SUVs and larger off road vehicles like the Ford ranger etc, yet the deluded Fks lamenting the demise of the Aussie car market can’t get beyond the idea that the Falcon and Commodore were no longer the vehicle type of choice. It was the local manufacturer of vehicles clinging to a 5-8yr outdated market expectation of vehicle type going forward that spelled their doom.
The Ford Territory being the ONLY exception to this, but that was too little too late.
Pop quiz. Would the burden to the tax payer have been more in the government subsidies to the local car industry over the years, OR paying the entire workforce th equivalent of the dole for the duration local car manufacturing existed??
I guess in the past that I've argued this point with RTT_Rules -
Ford was actually going to expand even in the face of the button report. UP until the Thai/Australian FTA they had plans on the books to build a diesel-engine plant in Australia but a change of Ford Australia CEO plus Howard's spineless non-enforcement of the terms of the Thai/Australia FTA sent a pretty clear signal to the car industry in Australia around 2003: Howard would not go into bat for Aussie jobs.
The rest is history - the GFC killed any export industry we had going. Ford came up with the Territory which relied on lots of imported components and never resonated with the public. GM had a red hot try also with the Crewman but it was really thirsty - a mate of mine had a second hand one and it was a bit under-powered with the V6 too.
Ultimately industry had also decided by the mid-2000's that the environment was getting too hostile to local manufacture by the late Howard years and didn't bother to put any more effort into local R&D or the concept that they should even bother making here any more.
Also costs here were getting out-of-control - the cost of housing, compulsory superannuation, the runaway cost of gas and electricity. I don't blame the unions though as car maufacturing continues to be viable in lots of countries where the cost of wages are higher than here. GM found the cost of wages in Korea 25% or so more than Aussie manufacturing but the problem was Daewoo (their purchase in the early nineties which initially imported Aussie parts from the GM chain) was closer to supply chains and there was an effort on the part of the Koreans to keep manufacturing there.
All of the above.