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Car makers pay close attention to the emissions regulations in the countries they export to. Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA/AAP

Could Australia become a dumping ground for high-emission vehicles?

Unlike many countries, Australia does not have mandatory greenhouse emissions standards for cars - meaning that manufacturers are free to sell their least efficient, most polluting vehicles here.
Classic Australian car design is on display at the National Gallery of Victoria. GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY, Detroit (manufacturer) United States est. 1908. GM HOLDEN LTD, Adelaide (coachbuilder) est. 1931. Pontiac all-enclosed coupe (Silver Streak) 1938 body designed Hartley Chaplin and Tom Wylie. Collection of Violet Cecil, Melbourne. NGV

More with less: Aussie innovation and the future of car design

We're not making cars in Australia anymore but the Shifting Gear exhibition at NGV showcases the best of local automobile design.
Could CarPlay be the precursor to an Apple Car? Apple

The Apple Car will be really different … if it exists

It has been a week and the Apple Car rumor hasn’t been denied by Apple. (Here’s the background in case you have been living under a rock). So what are we to make of all this? Much of what has been talked…
Australia’s Luxury Car Tax hits the high end of the market, but fuel efficiency plays an important role. Armin Weigel/EPA/AAP

Australians pay too much for luxury cars…or do they?

The Australian Automotive Association (AAA) recently stepped up its campaign against Australia’s Luxury Car Tax, arguing it means Australians are paying more than their Japanese or UK counterparts for…
Faulty ignition switches like this one were at the core of the troubles at GM, which led to record recalls last year. Reuters

It seems little is certain in life but death, taxes and auto recalls

The US’s top auto safety agency last week fined Japanese car company Honda Motor a record US$70 million for failing to report hundreds of fatal accidents and injuries over the last 11 years. The unfiled…
The light-weight BMW i3 is designed to maximise its range. EPA

In 2020, your car will look like a computer

To take a look at the cars on your street, it might not be apparent that the automotive industry is going through one of its most dramatic periods of change. Yet rising purchasing power in emerging markets…
Amidst the hugging of cuddly animals, G20 leaders talked growth. Andrew Taylor/G20 Australia/AAP

2014, the year that was: Business + Economy

In April, Treasurer Joe Hockey set the tone for his economics policies in a speech in New York on what he referred to as ending the “entitlement culture”. Hockey, who had given a defining speech in 2012…
Australia’s loss of economic complexity is leading to a primitive economy in which the nation’s share of the value of its products shrinks and living standards fall. Marija Piliponyte/Shutterstock

For want of industry policy, our living standards are set to fall

Australia faces a fall in living standards unless policy action is taken. This is due to de-industrialisation and loss of economic complexity. The higher the economic complexity, the stronger the economy’s…
Workers who lost jobs at the Port Kembla Steelworks have faced mixed fortunes. AAP/Dean Lewins

The story of steel maps the job future for car workers

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is right when he describes Australia’s car industry workers as “highly skilled people, adaptable people”. He has also been saying this week that the departure of Toyota and Holden…
Efficient manufacturing depends largely on scale, and Australia’s car production numbers have fallen. AAP/Adi Weda

Car manufacturing numbers just don’t stack up

Now that the final nail has been hammered in to the car industry’s coffin, what does it mean for the Australian economy? As always, the data is a good place to start. Efficient manufacturing depends largely…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is betting the rapid demise of Australia’s automotive sector can be contained politically. Alan Porritt/AAP

Managed decline to rapid demise: Abbott’s car industry gamble

For the past 30 years, Australian automotive industry policies can be characterised as managed decline. Beginning in the 1980s with the Button Plan, the aim of policy was to consolidate the industry and…
The impact of job loss on car industry workers is multifaceted, and those arguing ‘better jobs’ will emerge could be fooling themselves. Julian Smith/AAP

What the departure of Toyota, Holden and Ford really means for workers

People change jobs constantly, and the jobs lost in car manufacturing closures are insignificant in the context of total job changes - no different to everyday job changes. So say some commentators opining…
Do I look like I need leading? Linda Tanner

Why autocratic bosses are a dying breed

The idea that everyone wants leadership and wants to be led is a popular one, especially among corporate CEOs, but how true is it? Recent political events in Ukraine and Thailand should focus business…
The right policy settings will drive Australia toward a creative economy that produces knowledge and information. Paul Gorbould

From manufacturing’s ashes a creative economy could rise

General Motors Holden’s decision to pull the pin on its Melbourne manufacturing plant spurred renewed debate around government-subsidised industry sectors. But instead of throwing money into a flailing…
Those scrutinising government support of the car industry have changed their views over time. judepics/Flickr

Measuring the fallout of Holden’s ‘perfect storm’

For many decades, Australians have regarded a local car industry as a demonstration of our domestic capability. Sometimes, we have paid dearly for our enthusiasm. In the late 1970s, import quotas limited…
The withdrawal of General Motors in Australia follows the step back of government support for GMH in the US. Hugo90/Flickr

Moving on: Holden closure shows we need a new growth agenda

General Motors has confirmed it will cease manufacturing in Australia from 2017, citing a “perfect storm of negative influences”. GM chairman Dan Akerson said these forces include “the sustained strength…

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