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Analysis and Comment (24)

Canada faces similar pressures on its car industry, but its approach has been opposite to that of Australia. AAP/Paul Osborne

Canada and Australia: a tale of two car industries

As Australian prime minister Tony Abbott arrives in Canada to talk investment and trade, both countries are facing similar challenges to their respective manufacturing bases, particularly in the automotive…
Global shift: one-in-three vehicles produced by Toyota are manufactured in Asia. AAP

Toyota’s exit was inevitable: now for real test of government

Toyota Australia President and CEO, Max Yasuda, has described the car maker’s decision to leave Australia as one of the saddest days in its history worldwide. I do not doubt the emotion expressed by Mr…
The link between manufacturing cars and developing technology has been fundamental in Australia. AAP

Losing the car industry means we risk our technology

As I’ve argued before and it’s generally accepted, the car industry is a critical part of Australia’s science and technology base. The sector spends A$600 million a year on R&D and another $800 million…
Toyota has surprised with an announcement it would finish manufacturing cars here at the end of 2017. AAP

Toyota names 2017 end, Australian car making to cease: experts react

Toyota has confirmed it will cease its vehicle and engine production in Australia by the end of 2017, signalling the end of automotive manufacturing in Australia. The announcement follows decisions by…
The Productivity Commission has recommended the car industry should receive no additional government funding. AAP

No sacred cows: Productivity Commission targets Toyota

Ford and Holden gone. SPC Ardmona in jeopardy. Toyota under threat. The Productivity Commission’s (PC) position paper on automotive industry support fires a clear shot across the bows of the manufacturing…
There are plenty of new cars on British roads, but few of them are made here. Martin Rickett/PA

Hard Evidence: is the UK car market booming?

Registrations in the UK new car market rose 10.8% to 2.26 million units in 2013, the highest point for six years. But let’s not get too carried away: while last year’s figures may be exceptional, they…
The Leyland P76 was supposed to rescue the company - but noone bought it. Flikr/ peterhut

Lessons Holden might have learned from our worst car failure

One of the main complaints thrown around since Holden announced it would cease manufacturing in Australia has been that it failed to make a product that the market wanted. Forty years ago, this complaint…
Toyota has a history of operational excellence in Australia. Joe Castro/AAP

Last ‘man’ standing: what now for Toyota in Australia?

Now that Ford and Holden have announced the 2017 closure of their Australian manufacturing and assembly operations, what are the prospects for the industry and its key remaining participant, Toyota? Unlike…
Holden boss Mike Devereux says the car maker has made no decision on its future. AAP

Holden is one piece in GM’s global restructuring puzzle

In the wake of the global financial crisis, Holden’s parent company, General Motors was placed on life support. Its fortunes collapsed along with the US economy, leading the United States government to…
The Australian car manufacturing industry is in trouble – but does the government provide less support than other countries?

FactCheck: do other countries subsidise their car industry more than we do?

“By international standards our support [of the automotive industry] is modest, so we have to work hard to attract the new investment.” – Industry minister Senator Kim Carr, Lateline, 22 July. The idea…
Ford’s departure from Victorian communities will hurt - but it does not have to be devastating. AAP

Ford’s departure is bad news, but not the end of the world

There will be a lot of debate as to why Ford now finds itself in the situation it is in. Ford CEO, Robert Graziano, cited economies of scale as the primary factor that made continuing to produce cars in…
Ford has been one of Australia’s iconic brands for decades. But the announcement of the company’s planned departure should surprise noone. Michael Own creativecommons.org via Wikimedia Commons.

Ford’s exit foreshadows a looming reality check for Australian manufacturing

Today’s announcement by Ford Australia President Bob Graziano that the car company will exit Australian manufacturing by 2016 is not a surprise for anyone who has been paying attention to the fortunes…
Ford Australia has announced it will pull its car production out of Australia by 2016, with the loss of 1200 manufacturing jobs.

Ford to pull out of car production in Australia: expert reaction

The future of Australia’s auto manufacturing industry is under a heavy cloud after Ford’s announcement that it would cease its manufacturing operations in Australia by 2016. Ford Australia president Bob…
Recent redundancies at Holden have sparked debate over the need for a revised “industry policy”: but is this really the way forward? AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Industry policy must not second guess markets

The recent GM-Holden redundancies have provoked much comment, in many cases appealing for both state and federal governments to find solutions. But can government solve this dilemma, or is it a (big) part…
Instead of relying on unconditional government largess, car companies in Australia should be asked to provide guarantees. AAP

Moving the car industry debate beyond a squabble over subsidies

A famous quote from Albert Einstein states that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. Yet this is exactly what has occurred in the car industry which has…
With the government embroiled in an argument about how the level of car subsidies it pays, it’s time for a cost-benefit analysis that factors in the industry’s economic flow-on effects.

Concentrating on the costs of the car industry means we are failing to see the benefits

There are four facts we have all become aware of in the past few days – if not months – regarding car manufacturing subsidies. Fact 1: A lot of money has been given to Australian car manufacturers over…
Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid – one of many attempts to make electric vehicles more seductive. Overlaet, Wikimedia Commons

Standards, please! The third coming of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not new. But recent developments could give them something of a boost in the eyes of the buying public. If so, it wouldn’t be the first time. By the turn of the 20th century…

Columnists (1)

The politics of deindustrialisation

Industry policy has suddenly become quite fashionable – or it has as a talking point, at least. Not since the 1980s has there been quite so much discussion of the relative merits of ‘government intervention…

Research Briefs (1)