Automotive expert says Holden poised for collapse

Discussion in 'Other Countries' started by SupraMan, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. #1 SupraMan, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Automotive expert says Holden poised for collapse

    By Emily Bourke, staff

    Updated Sun Nov 4, 2012 5:34am AEDT

    A motoring expert has claimed that Holden is poised to shut down for good because it can no longer compete in the global market.

    The Australian car manufacturer announced yesterday that 170 jobs would be cut from its Elizabeth plant in Adelaide.

    The announcement came just seven months after a $275 million rescue package was promised by the Federal and South Australian Governments.

    The editor of car buyers' Dog and Lemon Guide, Clive Matthew-Wilson, says propping up the industry with taxpayer-funded bailouts is useless.

    "Let's not be fooled by this they are going to close anyway," he said.

    "It is 40 per cent cheaper to build cars in Thailand than it is to build cars in Australia.

    "If you look at the long-trend track record of car companies in Australia, they take billions and billions of taxpayers' dollars and they close down anyway."

    One of Holden's major parts suppliers, Autodom, also stood down 400 workers in South Australia and Victoria this week.

    Wayne Hanson from the Australian Workers Union says the Australian car manufacturing industry is relying on techniques of the last century and needs to be brought up to speed.

    "What needs to be done is to re-tool so that we can better equip ourselves to make sure that we are the leader," he said.

    "[We need to] follow the model that has been set by Germany ... they've established themselves into niche markets and are doing very well."

    Federal Industry Minister Greg Combet says the decision by Holden demonstrates why the Government needs to work with the auto sector to improve the productivity and sustainability of the industry and its workers.

    But John Spoehr from Adelaide University's Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre says there needs to be some strings attached.

    "There should be a trigger point at which government assistance is reconsidered," he said.

    "I wouldn't want to hold any manufacturer to a particular number. I think there should just be a band or target that you don't want to go below.

    "But, also, you should be trying to get manufacturers to think about how they can substantially transform their facilities to be able to survive in the 21st century."

    South Australian Manufacturing Minister Tom Koutsantonis says public investment in Holden represents good value for money.

    "The worst aspect here is if we didn't have the package there would be 2,300 jobs going missing," he said.

    "This is the process of turning it around. We've always said there'd be a reduction in manufacturing jobs.

    "What we're saying is to keep those jobs you need that creative destruction happening because we are transforming to an advanced manufacturing community.

    "We can't compete with Thailand on cost of labour. We can't compete with Russia on wages, we can't compete with China. And if we try we will lose.

    "What we've got to do is gear up for international platforms and give our components makers scale."

    Brad Dunstan, from the Victorian Centre for Advanced Material Manufacturing says public assistance is justified.

    "You've got to look at the automotive industry as a core industry," he said.

    "The automotive industry is a unique breeding ground for high quality engineers with benefits that flow on to other industries.

    "Creation of one high tech job leads to the creation of five other downstream supply jobs."
  3. That would be bad.
  4. Let's face it, manufacturing of automobiles in Australia is doomed. We can't compete in a global market, it's as simple as that. Large sedans have gone by the way side, they're out of vogue in the Australian market, whilst our high dollar means that it's too costly to generate a viable export program.

    Manufacturers have to be more competitve or they will die, it's that simple really! Amortisation of R&D costs by killing off orphan models in small markets and streamlining engineering efforts into fewer models designed to compete globally, with very little modifications required across the board in order to comply with every markets specific vehicle regulations is the only way to survive.

    It's such a sad situation which we're in. The VF Commodore will be the last Commodore as we know it - the same goes with the updated Falcon due in 2014. The missing part of the equation is what we'll be left with once our beloved home grown cars have finally been euthanasiad.

    At least the performance arms of HSV and hopefully FPV too, are making hay while the sun still shines and producing world class performance sedans which are taking it right up to the best that Europe has to offer. One day long after we're driving boring eco boxes, we will look back with fondness of a time which was the golden era of Australian motoring.
  5. Maybe your government will have a "too big to fail" mindset too.
  6. Agree with tickford5400. This is the golden era of Aussie motoring. Lets hope the very last models of the Commodore and Falcon are epic.
    430kw VF GTS is the first step, im hoping Ford will produce an extremely limited Phase5 GTHO with some kind of un-expected ridiculously insane power train. FPV can't let HSV blow them out of the water by 100kw at the end...
  7. wtf is this, I saw it today in Melbourne. (I know what it is, but what is it doing here).
  8. strange that they're still driving it. i've seen other lhd gm cars being driven around, they're not that uncommon.
  9. Probably a test mule for a higher spec Chevrolet SS.
  10. I don't get why those tax sucking assholes at Holden get to drive new LHD vehicles on the road but we can't. I bloody payed for that car and the guy driving it with my tax money, I want to be able to buy a new Veyron SS and drive it on the road if I want to. Which I don't, because its too cheap.
  11. Is it a law that you have to have a huge banner across the back to announce that its a lhd vehicle? If so lol.
  12. old cars like mustangs and 'vettes don't but the few times i have seen a gm test vehicle that is lhd it always has.

    i don't see many newer cars that are lhd, newer american cars are still generally converted to rhd.
  13. anything less than 30 years old, yes.
    Its ridiculous.
  14. You are not allowed to drive new LHD vehicles on the road in this country.
  15. Shitty country
  16. lol, even the US lets you drive new RHD cars. I know any jeep dealer will let you order a RHD wrangler if you want one.

    However I bet your import laws are better than ours, as ours are super shitty. A car has to be 25 years old or older to import, or have an equivalent model sold here. Which makes me wonder if a commodore or monaro would be legal for import as long as it had the same engine.
  17. Our import laws are the same. You can't import anything. When a Mercedes E250 costs $114k on the road without any options, do you reckon anyone would go to a dealer if they could import?
  18. I saw an old willys jeep with a big lhd sign on it

    it looked ridiculous, the sign was almost as wide as the car

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