Matt Greenop on motoring

Matt Greenop is editor of Driven magazine

Matt Greenop: Bad times across Ditch

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Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

The Australian car industry is now what can only be described as a true stuff up.

Two major brands, Ford and Holden, both too focused on two big cars and working under the auspices of huge parent companies with their eyes on cutting costs and reducing range sizes around the world by introducing global models - hmm, what could possibly go wrong?

In short, everything. We've already seen the Ford exit strategy play out, with Falcon and Territory being discontinued in 2016 and two factories shutting shop. Now this week, quite expectedly, the Commodore's death knell was heard with the Holden manufacturing operations in Aussie to be halted in 2017.

This is incredibly sad news for the market in Australia and over here - not to mention for the thousands of people who are going to be out of work.

I'm far from being an expert in economics and politics - although both can provide an effective cure for insomnia - but the Aussie Government's ongoing snark over funding assistance for car companies has been so shortsighted that it has itself to blame.

I've had numerous conversations with mates and family across the ditch over the last couple of years, and each one has come down to the same conclusion: if governments withdraw support for the automotive industry, it's likely to collapse.

Look at the US bailouts - the loans to Chrysler and General Motors helped to give those companies time to reorganise their systems and weather the GFC. That saved a lot of jobs, not only in the car companies but in the many industries working to support these corporate behemoths.

How do you think Victoria is going to fare when both Ford and Holden are running purely on imported products?

Everyone from the suits to those on the shop floor are going to be out looking for work. This is going to hugely damage the state's economy and that's going to have a knock-on effect that goes far beyond the car trade.

What is your take on the demise of car manufacturing in Aussie - join the conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/DrivenNZ and share your comments with other readers.

For more car news go to nzherald.co.nz/driven

- NZ Herald

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