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Australian carmaking runs out of road

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Ady120/10/2017 09:48:16
3172 forum posts
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Australia's final locally made car left the production line on Friday when Holden stopped manufacturing in the nation. It is considered the end of an era after similar exits by Ford and Toyota, writes the BBC's Hywel Griffith in Sydney.


Ian S C20/10/2017 10:41:40
6782 forum posts
224 photos

Hi Ady1, it was on the NZ TV news this evening, a high percentage of the cars over here were either GM Holden, or Ford Australia. Oh well a few Chinese cars are finding their way here, next there will be a Chinese team in the V8s.

Ian S C

Edited By Ian S C on 20/10/2017 10:42:14

XD 35120/10/2017 20:51:35
849 forum posts
37 photos

Just another nail in the coffin for Australian manufacturing .

It is near imposible to find something that is made in Australia let alone by an Australian owned company .

Ian there has already been a car manufacturer owned by the chinese in the v8 's - Volvo ! Unfortunately i think the series will end up going down the turbo v6 or 4 cyl road again like it did inthe 80s with the same results - loss of spectators and empty race tracks .

There is a proliferationation of fantastic drivers coming out of NZ - Must be something in the water over there !

Fortunately for me two of them drive for djr team penske !

vintagengineer20/10/2017 22:39:09
440 forum posts
6 photos

The problem with Holden was they didn't fit in with modern car manufacturing. All the car makers now pool resources so you dont know what you are buying nowadays. They buy complete cars and engines from each other and sell them under their own brand. Toyota are selling Peugeot Expert vans as Proace vans, Mercedes are fitting Fiat engines in there cars, Volvo are selling Ford as Volvos, the new Ford KA is a Fiat and BMW have just opened up a new factory in China to make ALL there engines!

Hopper21/10/2017 00:59:41
2537 forum posts
40 photos

Madness. Australia is/was the only country in the world with a car manufacturing industry where the industry was not subsidised in some way by the government, either directly or by tax breaks etc. The reason the Toyota, Ford and Holden factories have closed was because the government subsidies ended. A lot of valuable skills will be lost within a generation. Instead we are becoming a nation of "baristas" making cups of frothy coffee to be sipped by those who still have a job. That's considered skilled work these days.

Ian S C21/10/2017 11:12:10
6782 forum posts
224 photos

Australia once had an aircraft industry, building some fine aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang. After the war things went down hill a bit, they sold the Victa Airtourer to NZ, and we sold the C-4 Air Trainer back to the RAAF when the Aussies could have been well ahead.

I suppose there is still a ship building industry.

Ian S C

Edited By Ian S C on 21/10/2017 11:17:11

Sam Longley 121/10/2017 11:31:29
634 forum posts
24 photos

So after Brexit negotiations have been completed having a trade deal with Australia might be a good thing --if we can actually start making things for export ourselves.

Hopper21/10/2017 11:34:42
2537 forum posts
40 photos

I think the only ship building going on in Oz today is the fully government funded submarines and frigates in Adelaide and a few smaller patrol boats etc in Queensland. Quite a bit of commercial small boats etc but no real ships being made here now.

Ian S C22/10/2017 11:07:13
6782 forum posts
224 photos

Had a nephew in the luxury boat business in Brisbane until they ran out of work, he came home to Christchurch, and was back in the dame sort of work in about 3 days, but after 3 or 4 years of that the company moved to their other yard at the north of the South Island, so he stayed here and builds kitchens. The small boat building is still going, but the car assembly plants we had all died in the mid 1980s. But we do build aeroplanes.

Ian S C

Ady122/10/2017 11:14:24
3172 forum posts
423 photos

There's going to be some huge changes over the next few decades as cars go all electric

Maybe a few new startups, like in the UK in the 50s 60s

Places like Oz should benefit from solar as well

Roger Baker 222/10/2017 11:43:55
9 forum posts

Unfortunately all you had to do to find out what was wrong with Holden and Ford in Australia was to look in the staff carpark. Mostly small Imports. Got to mean something!


Hopper22/10/2017 11:55:58
2537 forum posts
40 photos

Yes, solar is huge here. So many people have installed rooftop solar panels the traditional government run power stations are struggling to make a profit, so they keep jacking up power prices, so people install more solar panels. LOL.

Elon Musk at Tesla is in the process of making the world's largest battery pack for a new solar power station in South Australia so it can supply power overnight etc. Lot of wind turbines going up here too.

But electric cars are a bit limited because of teh distances you need to travel in this country. But already quite a few in the cities used for short commutes. However, none of this stuff is manufactured in Oz. It's all brought in from overseas. We are on the way back to a banana republic economy where we import nearly everything and rely on exporting our food, minerals, coal, gas etc to try to balance the books.

From the 1930s through the 1970s Oz had strict limits and heavy taxes on imports, which is why we had a healthy home grown manufacturing industry - eg four major car manufacturers, steel mills, shipyards, machine tool makers (eg Hercus South Bend clones and many more.), electric motor makers etc etc. All gone now. The Holden factory was about the last of it, and all the small plants supplying them with door locks and tyres, shock absorbers etc etc.

So now we dig up our country and sell it to the Chinese by the ton.

Vic22/10/2017 12:20:22
1576 forum posts
3 photos

If you look at the car reliability ratings for the past few years you will see that the likes of Mercedes, BMW and Audi are near the bottom of the list, in fact In 2013 Audi was the second most unreliable brand. I learnt the other day that BMW now make engines in China, is this the reason that get such poor ratings? Having said that the BMW X series made in America have known reliability problems with their engines but this seems to be poor design rather than manufacture?

XD 35122/10/2017 13:51:13
849 forum posts
37 photos

So now we dig up our country and sell it to the Chinese by the ton

Yes and that leaves us with nice big holes in the ground to bury all the Chinese made junk we buy !

There is a ship building industry in Tassie , not sure if they could handle something the size of a battleship but they build large ferries there .

Now the the Government has turned Oz into one giant mine and we sell everything off to China for next to nothing which leaves us with shortages of gas and coal we can sit around sweltering in the dark in summer because our electricity stations are so old and run down or have run out of fuel !

The latest craze amuses me - gangs of Chinese shoppers going around and stripping the shelves bare of baby food then selling it to Chinese buyers leaving local shoppers unable to buy it and the Government does nothing to stop it !


Neil Wyatt22/10/2017 14:12:41
13410 forum posts
576 photos
68 articles


If you ask me all this proves is that Australia is 30 years behind the UK...




Samsaranda22/10/2017 14:58:50
384 forum posts
4 photos

Ian S C, New Zealand does build some cracking aeroplanes as witnessed by the articles featured in recent Aeroplane and Fly Past magazines, I refer to the Mosquito other recent projects. Keep em coming.


Danny M2Z22/10/2017 16:28:43
630 forum posts
252 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 22/10/2017 14:12:41:


If you ask me all this proves is that Australia is 30 years behind the UK...


No need to duck Neil, you are perfectly correct but it is not bad to live in a place without the crowds, the congestion taxes and air pollution.

This last weekend I went to the annual seaplane event on the nearby Lake Hume. Of the (about 50) entrants approximately 90% of their models were powered by i.c. engines, the larger ones being petrol engines. The remainder were little foamy battery powered beginners models.

Driving home (about 40 km) I saw a few vehicles, there were no traffic jams and the air was pure and clean.

It seems that we are more like 100 years behind the U.K.but it is a sweet / ok / fair dinkum and bonzer place full of adventures yet to be had.

* Danny M *

SillyOldDuffer22/10/2017 17:27:32
2793 forum posts
563 photos

Methinks those Aussies protest too much. Australians are rather rich by world standards. Ignoring super-rich countries like Macao, here's GDP-PPP per capita for a few of my favourite countries:

Norway $69296
USA $58094
Sweden $49678
Australia $48806
Germany $48189
Canada $46239
UK $42513
Japan $38893
New Zealand $37108
Thailand $16835
China $15423
Central African Republic $656

The figures are in International Dollars adjusted for purchasing power parity,

Clearly Australia and Canada should be sending food parcels and cash to their distressed relatives in the UK and New Zealand.smiley

The figures illustrate a problem with manufacturing as a way of making a living. If your industry depends on manpower, it's workers have to compete head-on with the other guy. So Australia could make ships, South Bend clones and cars galore, but only if Australians are prepared to take a 66% haircut in their pay-packets. Ditto their pensions. Any volunteers please step forward now!

China is doing well as a nation at the moment, but per head their economic performance is less impressive. And they too face competition. In the West new manufacturing technologies that don't depend on cheap people are on the way. At the same time there are many poorly paid people in the undeveloped world getting ready to undercut Chinese workers.

You can't wind the clock back.








Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 22/10/2017 17:30:27

larry Phelan23/10/2017 19:59:20
544 forum posts
17 photos

What make is your car ? Good question !!

Hopper24/10/2017 02:55:23
2537 forum posts
40 photos
Posted by larry Phelan on 23/10/2017 19:59:20:

What make is your car ? Good question !!

Toyota. I wouldn't touch one of those Australian made POS's. wink

Nope, there is no turning the clock back, but the UK gumment still subsidises the car industry there, as does France, Germany, the USA, China, Thailand etc etc. Australia was the only country in the world with a car industry to do away with government subsidies, which other nations keep in order to create jobs, keep up skill levels in manufacturing. When the time comes, as it will in the next decade, to move to robotic factories that do away with even the cheapest of labour, who will build them here? Nobody. We'll still be importing from China, or from the robotic factories in the UK, France, Germany , USA, China, Thailand etc.

As for high GDP in Oz, that's all well and good until you look at the prices of everything from consumer goods to real estate here and realize your money does not buy us any more than yours does in the UK. For example, I buy most of my tools and model engineering supplies from UK, get it air freighted halfway round the world to my doorstep and it's still cheaper than buying it locally, by about half or sometimes more. Same motorbike parts. Same clothes. And on and on. You guys should be sending me care packages!

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