Holden to pull out of Australia

Holden boss Mike Devereux announced that the company will stop manufacturing cars in Australia.

Holden to pull out of Australia

Holden boss Mike Devereux announced yesterday that the company will stop manufacturing cars in Australia by the end of 2017.

Nearly 3000 Holden workers will be directly affected by the closure of manufacturing operations in Australia while unions have suggested the decision would cost 50,000 jobs in the auto sector. Rival carmaker Toyota also warned that Holden’s decision would put pressure on its ability to manufacture cars in Australia.

When questioned on why Holden had made the decision, Mr Devereux said that the car industry in Australia is facing a combination of negative influences which included the high cost of production, the price of the Australian dollar and the size of the domestic market. "Building cars in this country is just not sustainable" said Mr Devereux.

Read more from The Age
Read more from The Australian

Opinion: The inevitable end of an era

The writing has been on the wall for the Australian car industry and manufacturing in general for the past decade, so Holden’s announcement yesterday came as no surprise to anyone. Unlike other struggling industries, such as print publishing, significant government handouts have propped up the car industry. With the new Coalition-led Federal Government making it very clear over, the past two weeks, that it had no intention of continuing the levels of hand-outs which were given by the previous government, Holden’s timeline to pull out of building its cars in Australia seems to have been brought forward to 2017.

The unions are painting this announcement as doomsday for the industry, with 50,000 workers expected to lose their jobs due to Holden’s withdrawal from Australia. In reality, even if these workers are made redundant and forced to find different jobs, there is a full three years before this stoppage occurs.

My first car I ever owned was a Holden and I’m certainly a little disappointed to think that future generations won’t have the opportunity to drive an Australian made version. I’m also a realist and understand that you have to know when to end a bad relationship, no matter the history. Starting as a saddlery business in 1856, Holden is a part of Australian history and even though its cars may be manufactured outside of Australia, I suspect the company will continue to have a strong future in the country.

What do you think? Will you ever consider buying a Holden or Ford which is manufactured outside of Australia? Do you sympathise with those 50,000 car-manufacturing workers who will need to find a new industry to work in? Should the Federal Government have done more to keep Holden manufacturing in Australia?





    COMMENTS

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    wally
    12th Dec 2013
    11:21am
    Companies that were originally Australian owned (QANTAS and Arnott's to name two of several) which have been taken over by large overseas companies exist at the whim of their shareholders. No shareholders in America, Europe or Asia care about the sentimental attachment Australians may feel toward these iconic brands. For these once proud Australian companies to find themselves under foreign control, one must ask how this came to be. People who originally owned stock in these iconic companies sold their shares which were purchased by overseas interests. I wonder if these people join in the sentimental anguish and gnashing of teeth of those that decry the cessation of production of Ford and Holden in Australia. Like it or not, money, profitability or financial loss dictate the decisions made by the corporate executives on behalf of their stockholders. For them, it is a matter of "profit or perish" at the next stockholder AGM.
    Still don't like it? The Yuppies should have bought Falcons or Commodores instead of German, Italian, Japanese, Swedish, British of French luxury cars for the "bragging rights" these cars confer on their owners. The consumers have "spoken" and the results will speak for themselves. Now Australian agricultural land and corporations are in the sights of overseas conglomerates. Joe Hockey knocked the sale of Graincorp on the head which is good, but "the wolves are still at the door" looking for other properties to take over.
    The "Globalisation is Good For You" mantra from the 1990's is bearing bitter fruit For Australia in ways unforseen then. The blizzard of free trade agreements see foreign produced goods outselling Australian made goods. Will the Australian government keep trying to be the "international good guy" (or mug) at the expense of the workers or will it start acting on policies to benefit Australians for a change? Watch this space.
    Tom Tank
    12th Dec 2013
    1:15pm
    The downside of Globilisation was foreseen back in the 90's but no one was listening. It is just a further step in the on-going take over by big business. It is Capitalism at its strongest and worst.
    It amazes me the pollies are still talking about huge growths on population without any thought about a growth in employment possibilities. We are still stuck with the Peter Costello definition of employment as 1 hour per week.
    I hate to be a doomsayer but Australia is heading to become the poor white trash of Asia.
    Pass the Ductape
    12th Dec 2013
    11:26am
    Anyone would have to sympathize with a person about to loose their job because the company they work for is closing down. What the real concern is - why is that company closing down and in Holden's case it appears to be the old bug bear of the high cost of production.

    The high cost of the dollar certainly wouldn't help but the nemesis of high wages always seems to be the main sticking point. So how do we fix the problem? Well the answer according to those companies who have already bitten the bullet and have done a similar thing is to produce their goods overseas. And what occurs then? Joe Average still pays a high price for the same article made overseas (supposedly with a much cheaper labour component) so where's the gain in doing this way? Simple! Any gain goes straight into the pockets of the company shareholders and this is why companies move off shore. They have no other interest but ripping off some other poor fool who is prepared to work for a pittance so that they can further increase their capacity to line their greedy little pockets.

    I hope anyone dumb enough to buy a Holden (watch for the name change) made overseas, deserves what they're likely to get - an overpriced piece of crap!
    Nutriwise
    12th Dec 2013
    11:41am
    I feel so sorry for all the mature aged workers. Hopefuly they will be able to find another job and not be like me- unemployed for over 15 months after over 500 job applications.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    12:04pm
    Our country has been going backwards for years. Most people don't want to work through the welfare system and the rest pretend to work. Far too many unproductive workers. Different from other countries. We are a mob of over weight softies no wonder we cannot compete with workers in other countries. They are efficient and we are not. We were much different many years ago. So learn to really work again and cut down on all the boozeing.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    12:13pm
    Spot on Dogs Body. I was in the work force for 55 years and never had to ask for a pay increase as I applied my self and my employer recognised this and I got employer voluntary pay increases.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    12:50pm
    You are right Bofor. I was similar to you and we didn't need 10 men to do the work of four. Far too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Look at all the unproductive beauracrats roaming around with all their entitlements. The place needs a real shake up and return to the days when men were men, not pawns running around trying to shirk some work. They get full of self pity if they happen to raise a sweat.
    Tom Tank
    12th Dec 2013
    1:24pm
    what a load of rubbish. I worked hard for 58 years and never got a pay rise I didn't have to ask for and to argue a case to get. Australians are hard workers, in general, and yes there are people on welfare who avoid getting a job but there are more who want a job and can't get it.
    There also hordes who are underemployed by only getting a few hours a week but are classed as employed and therefore do not qualify for the dole but sure as hell cannot live on the pittance they receive at work.
    A major reason we are inefficient is because similar counties to Australia invest heavily in technology while here if the investment is not returned in 2 years it doesn't happen. I can assure you that workers in Germany do not have to do the heavy lifting our guys have to do in factories and workshops.
    Nutriwise
    12th Dec 2013
    1:27pm
    I think you are right Dogs Body. We are becoming too soft as a nation. What makes me angry though is the attitude of bosses and those in charge of divisions and companies who think they are above the law. Maybe employers should consider employing Australians who were born in Australia and want to work before employing someone who has either just arrived in the country or who can barely speak the language.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    6:06pm
    Nutriwise--- Of course existing Australians should get employment before out siders but many Aussies turn their nose up at menial tasks. The biggest problem is as you say, the so called bosses of which there is far to many. Most have no ability to organise the work force. Just have a look at the men doing road works. Pitiful. Other people could get work, but won't leave the cities. Aussies were very good workers years ago, but a pot bellied beer swilling mob, that are old before their time has emerged.
    moorlands
    12th Dec 2013
    7:52pm
    The Mature Aged, I stress Mature Aged workers, will be rubbing their hands with glee, and good on them, their redundancy packages will be more money than they could have dreamed of at normal retirement! I have disclosed before that I occasionally play golf with a Qantas manager, she told me a story of a Qantas Engineer who was retiring at age 60, his retirement party and the lot was all planned for August, but in the meantime Dixon brought in another of his redundancy packages for overmanned staff, consequently his retirement was rescinded and he was made redundant with another $500,000 in his pocket, she also told me that although her salary is in excess of $100,000, her staff earn far more than her, one example is that if a supervisor cannot be relieved for a meal break at four hours then they are entitled to double pay until such time as they are relieved, so (suprise suprise) they are not relieved until their next shift relief after fifteen minutes hand over comes on. I queried why they do not have more relieving supervisors, the reply was that the union would not allow it, and contract employees are not allowed access to overtime until a full time employee cannot be found.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    11:00pm
    Well said Tom Tank….. Dogs Body and Bofor… how very lovely for you to have landed two separate ANGEL employers. So because you were LUCKY, you sit back condemning any other worker for wanting what you had…. a fair days work for a fair days pay.

    Running down Australian workers is disgusting…. Australians have been shown (statistically & otherwise) to be one of the hardest workers in the world.

    Stop being so smug about how YOU did alright, give some thought to those who are being screwed and stop spewing corporate media/liberal rubbish about Australians.

    Oh! 457 visas are one thing but IF someone is a permanent resident of Australia, they ARE Australian and need to live and work just like everyone else. Govt. policy as to migration may be the place to start because once they are here, they are as entitled as you are to LIVE.
    Jurassicgeek
    12th Dec 2013
    12:01pm
    I too sympathise with those who will lose their jobs in the Holden factory..There is a bigger concern in all of this...What about all those industries that supply parts to our car maker...Some one said there will 20000 jobs lost there as well. I suppose it is just another industry that will be lost to Australia.
    We dig shit out of the ground and send it overseas to be processed at the expense of aussie jobs (instead of doing it all here)
    We export live cattle now at the expense of aussie jobs
    Pretty soon we will process nothing and rely totally on the outside world for everything.
    Soon our imports will be higher than our exports (if they aren't already) and we will all pay through the nose for everything...We sure do business in funny ways here.....
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    1:12pm
    Dead Right. Its a bloody shame that a great country is going down the gurgler. Poor taxpayers getting hammered to prop up inefficient industry. Well it won't go on for ever, that is for sure. Far too many stealing out of the public purse. The cake is getting smaller. Why the hell are we bowing to Moslem beliefs and sending all this live stock overseas. The world is screaming out for our meat and it should all be pre packed in Australia. It could provide many thousands of jobs. Perhaps that work is too hard. We should all eat less and get rid of our pot bellies. We will never be able to keep up our present standard of living.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    4:21pm
    Nice Jurassicgeek

    Dogs Body…. what the hell… what has Muslims got to do with anything. Our biggest industry is resources and Australia has handed them over to (mostly) FOREIGN corporations.

    That is why YOU and everyone else should be screaming at ABBOTT to tell Murdoch to bugger off and put in Labor's NBN. With that, Australia would have a future. As it goes to everyone, innovation is unlimited.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    6:11pm
    Mussitate, I wouldn't expect you to get it, but exporting livestock to Moslem countries so they can be killed in their methods, which is letting them bleed to death, instead of having a full pre pack industry for all our farm produce means we are missing out on thousands of jobs. I wouldn't expect you to care Mussitate as all you can harp on about is Murdoch and Abbott.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    6:13pm
    Must you rate-- Stick to the subject, its about jobs for Aussies, or haven't you noticed.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    9:02pm
    Dogs Body

    I suggest you shake that stagnant water off you, old son.

    Don't like me mentioning that YOUR BOY Abbott is a marionette to Murdoch and will do whatever this FOREIGN magnate wants him to do….. even cripple Australia, so that Murdoch and his cronies can suck out OUR wealth into their own pockets.

    Gorton was a brilliant Liberal PM…. Abbott is not only pathetic, he has SOLD out Australia and the Australian people! Nothing to do with anything other than that and the more you stand behind this FOOL irrespective of what he does to this country, the less I think of you.

    Oh! and DON'T pretend you give a hoot about the ordinary worker because your TOTAL support of ABBOTT, no matter what he does or doesn't do, shows us how hypocritical you are.

    The thing with jobs …… why limit yourself to castigating muslims, what about the (mostly FOREIGN) mega mining corporations, using support industries from overseas rather than Australia and using 457 visas to get in CHEAP workers, rather than pay proper wages to Australian workers. Mining has NOT slowed and profits are even higher because of this BUT NOTHING is FLOWING BACK INTO AUSTRALIA. Little in support industries, little in wages to Australians BUT mega profits flowing OUT overseas to FOREIGN investors!!!!!

    Re: Topics….. 1) who do you think you are, dictating what is said; & 2) what does muslims and live sheep exports have to do with HOLDEN, if we are going to be PICKY.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:28am
    Mustitate/Moorlands No use wasting any more time answering your stupid untrue statements. We all know you are not quite all there and no one takes any notice of your long winded manuscripts. Just accept we now have a decent government trying to bring the country back from the brink after the disaster left by labor. You really have to accept reality. Just go away.
    Jurassicgeek
    13th Dec 2013
    11:02am
    Mussitate, Abbott and his cronies are all in bed with Murdock and that is not likely to change....impeach the bum..
    Rosscoe
    12th Dec 2013
    12:02pm
    The Howard Govt didn't assist Ansett and we lost a great airline. What is it with LNP governments? Can't they govern for good of their citizens? And all these people saying that workers should take pay cuts, AS LONG AS THEIR PAY IS NOT AFFECTED!!!! Democracy is Australia is not the democracy it should be. Just turn on the TV and watch the performance of the present speaker of the House of Representatives! The media has a lot to answer for as well!
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    12:07pm
    Roscoe have you ever read the Ansett story? Obviously not or you would know the Howard government had nothing to do with Ansetts` demise, the Companys` directors were to blame aided by unions wages increases.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    4:10pm
    Errrrrh Bofor…. unions wages increases… oh please, really. You are going to BASH the Australian (hard) worker for wanting a decent wage for their work?? Management doing the dirty (see next paragraph) and being incompetent is another thing BUT a government bail out could be dependent upon a government representative being placed on the board and hence overseeing operations and managements.

    EXAMPLE of what used to occur BEFORE the LABOR government implemented Fringe Benefits Tax in 1986:
    Company pays directors and CEO's $20,000 in wages BUT issues them ALL with company credit cards to purchase whatever they want, including food, etc. The Company also pays their high class rents or mortgages, provides them with a rolls royce or equivalent each to drive in, and some even got their own jets to buzz about in. A Win/Win for all because the Company's profit is GREATLY reduced and very little tax is paid and they can plead for GOVT HANDOUTS….AND all those that matter - Board Members (usually from the major shareholders) and the CEO's - only pay tax on the $20,000 they received but everything they own or use is paid for by the company.

    The best part is that ordinary shareholders and the public were none the wiser.

    The leaches bled the company dry and then called for handouts (if you or I asked for handouts, the companies would be screaming "socialism" but if corporations do it, it is called well the governments duty). Remember the saying "PRIVATISE the PROFITS and SOCIALISE the LOSSES", well Ansett and Budget took this to a whole new level.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    6:23pm
    Mozzie- Bait, Stop all your mumbo jumbo.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    9:08pm
    Dogs Body

    Bit like a dog with a bone…. guess you need something to keep you occupied. Thinking doesn't seem to do it for you.

    The example above is from a real life situation (can't name the corporation), so what is it my little one that you can't understand…. given you consider it mumbo jumbo.

    Is it the fleas that stop you concentrating or your continual need to ….. let's just say 'clean' yourself.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    9:19pm
    Dogs Body

    Just another little example of a mega corporation MISMANAGEMENT - CHEVRON.

    Chevron are saying that the Gorgon project has had one problem after another and the cost blow out is due to the unions.

    The project cost percentage that relates to the workers is ….. wait for it….. LESS than 1% of the overall cost. Now, if that causes a project to blow out to $59billion….. WOW! How badly mismanaged are these executives.

    The project problems have nothing to do with the workers OR the unions but CHEVRON are careful to put unions, wage costs, & project problems in the one statement, so that ALL seems to be the fault of the unions instead of GROSS MISMANAGEMENT by CHEVRON.
    Patriot
    13th Dec 2013
    9:22am
    Mussitate - Good On ye!

    From the foregoing discussion is is obvious that there are some that DO NOT WANT to be educated.
    That is why they are attacking the integrity of the person rather than providing evidence to disprove the facts you put forward.
    When they are attacking the PLAYER rather than the BALL, they just cannot provide reasonable argument against the facts provided.

    No I'm not for labour either.
    As far as I'm concerned ALL POLITICIANS are committing treason by "Selling this Country OUT" to the multinationals.
    Shamefull!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    12th Dec 2013
    12:03pm
    It is sad to see Holden cease to produce cars in Australia as indeed it was in the case of Ford and Mitsibushi but has anyone really stopped to consider why?
    To answer that question you have to go back to the beginning and ask why these companies commenced operating in the first place. Answer> To supply a product and make a profit.

    How does a company make a profit? It makes a product or provides a service that is sold at a price that people will pay and leave money over and above the FULL production costs.

    How can they keep sale prices in the equation. They can cut quality nah no good, they can cut wages, nah the unions would scream blue murder, they can cut profit nah they go broke.

    The problem is with number 2 WAGES.
    So many Australian jobs have been lost in so many areas due to the misguided workers who are led like sheep by their unions asking for wages beyond what the profit making capabilities of the employer can afford over the long term.

    Unions did a great job getting workers out of the often appalling conditions in yesteryear but they have now succeeded in getting hundreds of thousand workers out of work in successive years.

    The workers have been brainwashed to belief employers have a bottomless pool of money which the workers have a right to exploit. Wages are the biggest single component of any product made in Australia.

    We have all gotten into this comfort zone of "we are entitled to have 2 cars, countless TVs , flash houses ( by previous standards) and to get all this and more requires money.

    We have affectively priced ourselves out of the market, wages wise.

    I do not for one second say we should live in poverty BUT we also do not NEED to be paid the wages most of us feel we deserve.

    Manufacturers have a obligation to their share holders to get a Return On Investment and when the ROI drops to a unacceptable level, bingo business gone.

    I know I am going to get cries of anguish and condemnation for suggesting we are over paid but ask yourself if you had the money that Holden has in infrastucture and the like, wouldn`t you want a decent ROI?

    My idea is a decent wage and increases in line with the CPI each year. But no the unions want 8,10% increases and frankly it has been proven we cannot sustain that type of increase.

    We are victims of our own greed.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    1:00pm
    Great article Bofor and I agree completely. The CEO and other top brass should be paid salaries in keeping with what is reasonable and in line with the workers wages. This has got completely top heavy and these people are getting idiotic salaries, even if the concern is going broke. We just cannot expect the long suffering tax payers to prop up inefficient industry or to feather the nests of our other lot of bludgers that won't work. Profitability is about good management and worker efficiency. Top workers should always be rewarded. Drones should have their wages cut.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    1:09pm
    Thanks Dogs Body
    FrankC
    12th Dec 2013
    4:51pm
    I have been saying this for a long time Bofor, but nobody wanted to see it. The other part of the problem after WAGES, is REAL ESTATE; prices have gone up and up guided by these RE agents, who are guided by greed, especially when the Reserve bank keeps reducing the interest rate, -that doesn't help. Back in the 70s when interest rates were in the 14% range, we never had the problems like we have now. I think the RBA should start to slowly increase the rate, and bring house prices to a more realistic level, I mean why should a house suddenly jump up by $28K - $40K, when it has just sat there for 12 months. Yes I think the unions have a lot to answer. Take a walk down the main street of Townsville, for example, and
    see how many businesses have closed down because they can't afford the staff any longer.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    6:21pm
    A lot of our problems stem from 6 years of labor government and the huge blow out in debt. Do you know how much our interest bill is before we start making profit. Rudd/Gillard/Rudd wrecked this country and the repercussions are just showing up now, with business unable to survive. Are we all happy with our power bill, NO, well let the coalition get rid of the bloody taxes.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    9:44pm
    Really Bofor…..

    TAKE from the Australian worker and GIVE it to the much deserving CEO, directors and shareholders of a FOREIGN mega corporation, who take all their loot home with them.

    As Dogs Body's tail wagging stated, they deserve it a LOT MORE than any lowly Australian Worker.

    Screw the workers, keep them poor and eventually we can become the USA whereby the average person has to work three jobs to get ONE decent PAY.

    Yeah, …. good one.


    Dogs Body

    WHAT! WHAT!! Labor caused a DEBT blow out….. are you totally INSANE.

    Under Labor we had the best economy in the world, one of the most egalitarian in the world AND we had one of the LOWEST DEBTS in the WORLD!!!!!!

    These proclamations were NOT by me, the labor party, etc, it was established INTERNATIONALLY and the figures were applied to ALL countries and Australia HIT the TOP of the World.

    Within THREE (3) months of ABBOTT and his (foreign) Corporate Mates taking control, Australia has started on the downward SLIDE …..

    Now, Dogs Body, I want you to concentrate here…. the BIGGEST downward SLIDE is with our DEBT. The LIBS want to increase it to MORE THAN $500billion. You got that Dogs Body…. YOUR BLOKE is INCREASING AUSTRALIA'S DEBT! Rudd, kept that same DEBT to the one of the LOWEST in the WORLD.

    So, cut the cr*p Dogs Body! Sheez


    Frank

    Excellent and valid point. Also, removing 'negative gearing' would be a good step as well.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:23am
    Mussitate ---- You never get it do you. I do feel sorry for you. Now Rudd inherited a credit of 19 billion, then proceeded to have us in debt to the tune of 400 billion. Did you understand that????? In order to keep afloat we have a debt ceiling of 500 Billion. You do not seem to understand what a debt ceiling is. How much interest do we pay on the present blow out of 400 billion caused completely by Rudd/Gillard. You would be unable to work that out, but it has left the Libs well behind the eight ball. So stop your lies about Rudd and co and stick to the truth. You have been peddling misinformation far too long on this site and will not face the truth. Please please old chap, just get real.
    moorlands
    13th Dec 2013
    12:12pm
    Poo, did someone fart? or is that dog sh.t I can smell?
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2013
    6:18am
    Moorlands/Mussitate ----No answer for that one, have you. Pathetic dickhead.
    anony
    12th Dec 2013
    12:38pm
    business plays labour governments for the saps they are; Holden knew all this when they shamelessly put their hand out. Libreal governments mrecilessly attack the weakest in society as bludgers. It is good this time they have so far refused to continue this charade.

    Cars will never survive as an industry in oz. we need to stop wasting tax dollars on unproductive businesses as this public purse is always attacked by government leaders eager to show what good managers they are.

    workers need viable jobs in viable industries long term. taxpayers cannot fund lame ducks so that directors can pay themselves huge salaries for years while they rip off their owrkers and the public purse.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    9:49pm
    nice comment anony…

    Maybe, we can retain some industry by the government taking it over and modernising it, so that it comes close to breaking even.

    A win/win for all, workers and communities flourish, spin off industries flourish and add wealth to the economy and the GOVT funds spent are basically recouped or in the LEAST are LESS than the hand outs given to greedy, foreign mega corporations.
    LENYJAC
    12th Dec 2013
    1:16pm
    IT'S THE OVERPAID IDIOTS WITH THE SHINY SUITS BEHIND THE SCENES THAT CAUSE COMPANYS LIKE THIS TO GO DOWN THE DRAIN.. AND WITHOUT THESE FUND BLEEDERS THE PRICE OF VEHICLES COULD BE REDUCED, SO MORE WOULD BE SOLD?????
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    1:34pm
    The overpaid people you refer to LENYJAC are not idiots nor do they have shiny suits. Suits become shiny when used for a long time but the people you refer to would change their suits long before they became shiny. But they are overpaid in some instances I must agree.

    Feed peanuts, get monkeys.

    However if you reduced all their wages it would be a mere drop in the bucket compared with the work force wages bill.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    10:30pm
    What a lot of tommyrot Bofor…. that is what YOU have been fed by the wealthy elite.

    Do you really believe that these UNDER ACHIEVERS deserve to earn $3333 a second (that is what some of the really big boys get)….. I don't think so!

    And NO… it would NOT be a mere drop in the bucket! Adding these peoples incomes to the workers pay trough increases the average wage substantially. Workers actually WORK for their money, the wealthy elite parasites, do not.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:34am
    Must You Rate --- What a bitter twisted old man you are. Jealousy and envy are your problems. Don't you understand that if there were not businesses owned by wealthy, then no one would have a job. You don't even understand the basics. Stop peddling your socialistic crap and stop your lies. You could do damage to some poor soul that might believe you.
    moorlands
    13th Dec 2013
    12:10pm
    Poo, did someone fart? or is that dog sh.t I can smell?
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2013
    6:20am
    Musti-Bait/Moorlands --- No answer to that either. What happened to your host of knowledge??????????????????????
    Turbo
    12th Dec 2013
    1:50pm
    Aha, Chicken Little is alive and well. Remember that childrens book where the chicken went into a melt down 'cos she thought the sky was falling in?
    "It's the end of car manufacturing in Australia" and even "The end of (all) manufacturing in Australia" were being screamed from the news and headlines...
    Great opportunity here for somebody! I was gunna call Dick Smith to tell him yet another great Aus icon name was up for grabs cheap (Holden), but I see that although GMH didn't make it's decision to quit until the last moment, it had already decided to rebadge it's future imported cars as Holdens!
    So how do we produce our own cars (again) at a reasonable price?
    What's happened to the spirit our predecessors bought to Aus? We used to look after ourselves. Some of our older farmers still do. I remember not so long ago calling into a farm to pay homage to a new million dollar plus tractor and ploughing rig that had just been imported, (and was the farmers pride-n-joy). Only to find the the farmer with the huge plough dissassembled and he was re-shaping the blades with a hammer and anvil!
    "They bloody got it wrong", he said, (with a few more expletives)...
    Next day I saw him happily ploughing and doing a great job...
    ...and the original combine harvester was invented and manufactured by a little factory in Sunshine, Victoria, giving us an incredible lead over the rest of the world...
    It's about time we used, and backed our own inventors.
    For instance, surely we can produce the worlds best solar cars with our inventiveness, practicality, climate and distances?
    Just get the government (or others) to sponsor a competition for a single seater commuter vehicle and see how many creations come out of backyard sheds...
    Better end it there or I'll be accused of rambling...
    Turbo
    moorlands
    12th Dec 2013
    8:30pm
    Turbo too long to make your point, but please do not make out that Dick Smith is a good example, he made his billions from importing cheap Asian electrical products, now he has the audacity to sprout "Buy Australian "
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:41am
    HELLO Now we have MOORLANDS alias MUITATE telling more lies. Do you argue with yourself MUSSITATE????? We all know you are one and the same. Who is winning??? What fun you are having trying to fool the people as usual. Don't be a silly old coot. P''''''ss OFF.
    moorlands
    13th Dec 2013
    11:38am
    Poo, did someone fart? or is that dog sh.t I can smell?
    Anonymous
    14th Dec 2013
    6:21am
    Moorlands/ Mozzie Bait ________ What wit.
    Maxzee
    12th Dec 2013
    2:04pm
    So many things contributing to the demise of our manufacturing , the whole business needs a rethink , we have high rents and taxes , we have continual raises in wages, inflation grows, every one tries to keep up? the cost of power and water and transport! all sky high, and red tape, enough to strangle every thing, I hear in many other car producing countries Government subsidies are many times more than here, I believe we are the lowest country to aid our industry? so where do we start, and can we afford not to have manufacturing industry here? I can remember the 2nd world war, and we could have easily been over run in the UK, then the sheer guts of the people got that up and running again, but in todays world it would be too late, we need the indusry here to supply us , we can be self sufficient, this Globalisation is behind it and I doubt we have any pollies of any party who can stop it, they seem to be serving a different master than the Australian people.
    dougie
    12th Dec 2013
    2:13pm
    GMH did not make their decision overnight. There are many things which they would have considered such as :
    Where do we manufacture.
    Is this central to major markets.
    Can we import into Australia with the same benefits as other manufacturers.
    How long will it take to establish a manufacturing line.
    Are their trained operators available if we decide on a country.
    When can we make this happen.

    The only reason that they delayed making their decision known was to see how much money they could get our government to give them to send home to USA before they announced their decision.

    As a company Holden hardly appeared as a dot on the parent company (GMH) bottom line.
    GMH is closing or has closed many plants in their own country why not Australia.

    The Australian government has forced their hands to come clean on their decision, They have not forced the decision upon them.

    The Government now has the chance to put some of the billions it has paid GMH and Ford to expanding our expertise in other areas. At the same time they should support Toyota and issue directives that only Toyota vehicles be purchased for any government owned or funded department, authority or organisation and that Holden should be treated the same as any other vehicle importer.

    No blame should be laid at the foot of any government as in each case that which was done was to carry on our manufacturing industry. Any finger pointing should be at the overseas companies and their rapacious attitude to any company they take control of.
    Thank you Joe Hockey for the Grain Handling Company decision or it would have gone the same way as Holden in the short term.

    Some decisions in life hurt more than we think we can bear, however there is always an up side.

    IE.Look at Newcastle and Wollongong Kiama after the closure of the steel works. They are now wonderful places to live and not smog filled industrialised cities.
    btony
    12th Dec 2013
    3:06pm
    The steelworks still operate in Wollongong, but not for much longer tho
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    2:36pm
    Once upon a time there were
    AUSTRALIANS - real people
    who wanted to start up the automobile manufacturing industry in Australia
    REAL AUSTRALIANS - real people
    THE POLITICAL ARENA DID NOT LET THEM
    THE BANKING & FINANCIAL SECTORS WOULD NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM
    Instead the Australian political & Union arena
    BEGGED
    BEGGED
    BEGGED
    AMERICA TO COME TO AUSTRALIA TO SET UP SHOP
    America did not see the potential & it was too far away from the world at large
    SO THE AUSTRALIAN POLITICAL - UNION - BANKING - FINANCIAL ARENAS
    OFFERED THEM INCENTIVES = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ FOR FREE.
    So I say this to the foreign auto makers in our fair country -
    "so long, so long - I've been waiting , so long, so long - I'll be glad to see you - on - your way - your way - so long."
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    2:37pm
    AUSTRALIANS ARE NOT SPASTIC
    WE CAN DO IT OURSELVES THANKS ALL THE SAME
    lindy
    12th Dec 2013
    2:37pm
    50,000 people out of work in Vic and SA. How much do you think unemployed benefits plus families relocated is going to cost the economy. No more Bathurst racing subsidies and related car industry. Pathetic attempt [ no attempt] by Hockey. Will come back to bite them in the proverbial.
    dougie
    12th Dec 2013
    2:51pm
    I think that the numbers are considerably over blown and I sympathise with all those who will lose their job. Believe me I was told at age 50 I would never get another job after being made redundant under a Labor government. Guess what the only time I was unemployed was when I wanted to be. There will be jobs there will be new opportunity and many will be like me and find a job so much more rewarding than that which I had worked at for many years. There are 3 or 4 years for many of these people to find alternatives and of course this is part of Holden's pland. Let them get a job and resign, no redundancy payments involved then.
    dougie
    12th Dec 2013
    2:51pm
    I think that the numbers are considerably over blown and I sympathise with all those who will lose their job. Believe me I was told at age 50 I would never get another job after being made redundant under a Labor government. Guess what the only time I was unemployed was when I wanted to be. There will be jobs there will be new opportunity and many will be like me and find a job so much more rewarding than that which I had worked at for many years. There are 3 or 4 years for many of these people to find alternatives and of course this is part of Holden's pland. Let them get a job and resign, no redundancy payments involved then.
    dougie
    12th Dec 2013
    2:51pm
    I think that the numbers are considerably over blown and I sympathise with all those who will lose their job. Believe me I was told at age 50 I would never get another job after being made redundant under a Labor government. Guess what the only time I was unemployed was when I wanted to be. There will be jobs there will be new opportunity and many will be like me and find a job so much more rewarding than that which I had worked at for many years. There are 3 or 4 years for many of these people to find alternatives and of course this is part of Holden's pland. Let them get a job and resign, no redundancy payments involved then.
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    3:18pm
    We could always sell the Australian Broadcasting corporation -
    The Australian Broadcasting corporation cost the Australian Tax Payer
    in excess of $1.18 BILLION every year
    And for very little return.
    That would be -
    ONE POINT ONE EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS SAVED EACH YEAR.
    THE AUSTRALIAN TAX PAYER IS NOT A CHARITY
    AND
    MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES
    We were & still are forking out a small fortune for these foreign companies
    And in more ways than one
    IN TODAY'S DOG EAT DOG - COMPETITIVE WORLD NO ONE SHOULD BE SUBSIDIZED - NO ONE -
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    6:36pm
    Fully agree Nightshade--- Sell the ABC as soon as possible, and it could help to pay the interest bill on all our debt for a while. Tax payer dollars should never be used to prop up business that can't stand on its own two feet. We should stick to industry like farming where there will always be a market for our goods. Stop the live sheep and cattle trade, and set up works here in Australia making thousands of jobs. The world will always be screaming out for food. This country is capable of producing a huge increase. Get some of the townies that over crowd our cities out to the country. Might help the price of houses go down a bit.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    10:34pm
    Sure thing Dogs Body…. you continue to sprout Murdoch's dogma.

    Sell anything that tells the public the truth… can't let the truth get in the way of Murdoch earning mega bucks can we?

    We can't have a DIFFERENT OPINION to what is SPEWED OUT by the mainstream CORPORATE (foreign) MEDIA, can we!!! NO, no, no…. my man.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:45am
    Mussitate/Moorlands More piffle from you. How is Murdoch today?? You are obsessed with him and he has one foot on a banana skin. You are such a silly twisted old man.
    moorlands
    13th Dec 2013
    12:08pm
    Poo, did someone fart? or is that dog sh.t I can smell?
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    2:50pm
    If we in AUSTRALIA really want foreign auto makers here -
    There are several auto makers in
    Europe
    AND
    Asia
    who would love the opportunity to come out to our sun burnt country & manufacture their -
    ALTERNATIVE TO PETROL CARS
    IT IS A BRAVE NEW WORLD OUT THERE
    HOLDEN & FORD & TOYOTA ARE YESTERDAY SPENT FORCE
    LIVING IN THE PAST WITH THEIR BRAIN MATTER STUCK IN A PETROL CAN
    Everyone throws out there old shoes & updates their wardrobe
    Out with the old & in with the new
    Let us wave a hearty good-bye & put out a nice big new welcome mat to tomorrow & all its goodies - The Promise of things to Come & they will come.
    robmur
    12th Dec 2013
    3:09pm
    It is crazy and downright ignorant for people to blame the Abbott Government for not saving Holden. Governments are not there to prop up failing companies with huge amounts of tax payers money. The continued supporting of failing companies by any government wouldn't be in the best interest of the tax payer despite the weeping and yelling by many. Holden has been its own worst enemy as the cars they make up until the latest Commodore, are of a poor quality, not only in construction but in technology. Holden can't compete with overseas companies, like Mazda, Toyota and Honda who all produce far superior cars to Holden. The same can be said for Ford who are also ceasing production because the quality of their Australian made cars is poor. For years Holden and Ford have got away with it mainly because Australians have trusted the trustworthy name of Holden and Ford. As a result of depending on their "good name", neither company has come to grips with the fact that the more selective, discerning buyer wants more for their dollar, both in terms of quality and reliability. As well, the Commodore and XR6 (Falcon) have got bigger and bigger not only in engine capacity but also in size. Both companies have "outsized" themselves and are relying on smaller, badge engineered cars like the Cruse and the Focus to increase each companies' sales.

    What if, and it is wishful thinking. Why couldn't the Australian management of both Holden and Ford get their heads together with a view to saving the Australian car industry? Just think, the skills, resources and knowledge of the workforce of both companies coming together to produce AUSTRALIAN CARS that could be badged as Fords or Holdens. Think Kia and Hyundai in South Korea. Same cars, same technology, same sizes, but carry different names and badges. Couldn't we do the same? Is it totally out of the question? Why do we have to sucumb to the wishes of the American parent companies?

    Australia's Holden and Ford companies have two years to get their collective heads together and workout how they can save themselves from being axed by their American masters. To hell with the Yanks. Let us look after ourselves and cut out the unneceesary rivalry between the two companies. We have the resources, factories, know-how. All it needs is ingenuity, cooperation and some support from both the Federal Government and ALL State Governments. A name like "Motor Industries, Australia" producing Australian designed and built cars might have some appeal to us all and overseas buyers. It might be pie-in-the-sky thinking, but it can't be any worse than the situation we have now. I'm all for Australia and our workforce. I feel very sorry and despondent for all our motor industry employees who are facing a very bleak future. Think about it. Many will say it is impossible. But is it? Like some comments and feed back please.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    3:48pm
    Robmur, your idea has a lot of merit and I hope the big wigs in the Holden/Ford stable read your comment
    They only need to build a medium sized family car of top quality build. 2 motor capacities with auto or manual choices in transmission.
    A minimum of bells and whistles.
    Colours with Australian name connotations Gumtree Green, Mountain Blue,Desert Red,Coal Black, Whitsunday White you get the idea.

    People who buy shares get exemption from tax on the purchase plus for the first five years on dividends.

    Gotta Love That!

    But a good marketing plan is essential and your Motor Industries Australia has a nice ring to it.

    Logo MIA , pronounced "MYAH" surmounted by a kangaroo and catch phrase "MIA, a leap forward"

    Good thinking robmur.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    3:59pm
    How about a Australian/ New Zealand consortium and call it the "ANZAC" Australian New Zealand Automobile Company?

    The mind boggles at the endless possibilities with model names with that one.
    Kiwi,Kea, Kiora, Roo, Koala, Bunyip.
    Jude
    12th Dec 2013
    3:24pm
    Totally agree with Dougie, this was not a decision made overnight, and our government is not to blame (neither party). Meanwhile I am watching parliament Question Time on the ABC and lo and behold Shifty Shorten is ranting on putting all the blame on the Coalition! Don't know much about big business companies but I should think that the bigwigs in Detroit have been considering this for longer than three months.....as with Mitsubishi when ALP was in power.
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    4:26pm
    Ow no, another Liberal pretending to be bi-partisan.

    No Jude, when Labor were in, the ranting and screaming from murdoch and other corporate mainstream media was unbelievable. Along with the abuse and disgusting ranting from liberal supporters on this blog BUT now that Libs are in, you want to be bi-partisan and everyone should be nice.

    Murdoch's MARIONETTE has a lot to answer for and HOLDEN, is simply another, ESPECIALLY given the loss of the other manufacturers.
    Jude
    12th Dec 2013
    4:38pm
    Actually I don't vote for a party, I vote for my local candidate and it is whoever I feel an do the best for his/her electorate, so you are jumping to conclusions.
    MITZY
    12th Dec 2013
    5:03pm
    Mitsubishi went out of business in the very early days of the Labor Government and stated at the time that their decision had been made BEFORE Labor came to power. Uncannily it is just the same situation this time. It's no use blaming either side of government, both have been over generous to car manufacturers for decades.

    Why do some businesses get government subsidies and others don't?

    If a business of whatever type does its homework thoroughly, they should be confident to go into business and stand on their own two feet. So many businesses don't do the homework and fail. How many businesses should we prop up with taxpayers' money when the billions we have given to Holden and others could have been used for the benefit of all Australians.
    It amazes me that Holden has been able to send millions of dollars of profit to Detroit in the past few years! Why wasn't that profit put back into its business for the benefit of its Australian workforce and/or possibly to bring its production more up-to-date in line with the modern automation of overseas car manufacturing?
    Millions of Australian Dollars sent to its head office in Detroit, made out of the efforts of its hard working Australian employees and hand-outs from Australian governments. There shouldn't have been $1 of profits go out of this country. Holden would also have been better off with an Australian instead of an American CEO. Is Toyota next?
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    10:41pm
    JUDE

    Then WHY are you rubbishing Shorten and calling him 'shifty' who was 'ranting'. Why attack a person, instead of the policies… would that be because Liberal policies are the EASIEST to put holes in and rubbish? Abbott has virtually sold out Australia to (foreign) mega corporations but you didn't call him a name…. why not Jude?

    If you want any credibility as a person who is NOT a full on liberal supporter, then maybe you should take the 'greater shade of blue' or abject bias out of your comments….. yes.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:50am
    Must you rate, Please don't mention Shorty Shorten, The most pathetic polly in Government. He is even more pathetic than Rudd, so they are going down hill fast. Wonder who he has stabbed this morning. What an idiot, blaming Abbott for the demise of Holden after Rudd/Gillard/Rudd crippled this country. As usual, the poor Libs have the job of cleaning up the mess.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    11:48am
    Musitate, I have a question---- How long has Abbott been in power??? Three months or six years. So how could Abbott sell out OZ in that time. Just more crap from you. You are upsetting some of the old dears that are horrified when they read your vitriol.
    Please stop the lies.
    moorlands
    13th Dec 2013
    11:54am
    Poo, did someone fart? or is that dog sh.t I can smell?
    Patriot
    13th Dec 2013
    7:05pm
    Dogs Body,

    He was only doing what Abbott has been doing for the years he was in opposition.
    Critisize, critisize, critisize etc. Shorten learned from the master himself!
    All such without offering positive alternative directions to take or directions to go.

    Such is the current political scene. It does not matter what is correct in order to serve the Australian taxpayer but it matters who serves the foreign masters best!
    dougie
    12th Dec 2013
    3:28pm
    Maybe when Holden of Ford does go the Australian Government should take over one of the plants, Surely we own it with the money given to these companies,and start to develop an armaments division to manufacture our own tanks and vehicles rather than buying in from overseas. We may even be able to sell some to our friendly neighbours.
    Grateful
    12th Dec 2013
    4:03pm
    Agree with Bofon. Sadly, we have had it too good for too long and have created this pie in the sky which simply cannot be sustained. All that great hard work done by our forefathers (and us!!) has developed a classic "balloon" economy, which, very sadly, has been usurped by greed and the biggest contributer to that has been in housing.
    Large, "subsidies" and far too generous tax incentives for things like negative gearing, has resulted in massive increases in the price of housing and that has resulted in (necessitated) the pressure for higher wages, mums having to work too soon after birth, with resulting extortionate cost of child minding, ALL subsidized and paid for by the taxpayer.
    Our "balloon" economy is a spiral that has been turned upside down and is now in a rapidly increasing downwards whirlpool.
    The "lucky" country's luck has run out and to use a cliche, we cannot expect to continue having our cake and eating it. It's reality check time. Cut hard on tax "subsidies" and all other "entitlements" We have to go back to a "needs based" mentality, not the "entitlement" expectations that are now ruining this country.
    But, I would like to see these major decisions handled a bit better than the latest few have by this government, which is obviously still in its infancy, although I'm sure that I heard someone say, move over, the "adults" are now running the show??!!
    Anonymous
    12th Dec 2013
    4:29pm
    dougie

    YES, YES, I totally agree with you.

    The government COULD do this easily…. take over the facilities (should be cheap to acquire) and run the operations at COST. That is the beauty of government ownership, a profit does NOT need to be made!!

    Yay, dougie…. brilliant idea.
    Jude
    12th Dec 2013
    4:56pm
    Again, totally agree with Dougie. I was just thinking the same thing! ....and then being an Australian company as it originally was taxpayers would probably be a lot happier about financing it. Also I think that in major issues such as manufacturing if it involves the government then the major parties should be able to discuss and plan things together for the good of Australia rather than be at loggerheads all the time. Guess that will never happen though.

    12th Dec 2013
    4:15pm
    NOW will people understand WHY Australia NEEDS Labor's NBN!! We cannot compete with Asia on wages and manufacturing, our resources are mostly foreign owned and profits taken outside of the country and our farms are being abandoned.

    Australia NEEDS something that will PROVIDE for us in the FUTURE and Labor's NBN was going to deliver technology and innovation. A niche that Australia could have developed because the WHOLE country was HOOKED UP and innovation could come from anyone, not just corporations.

    For goodness sake, raise your voices and tell Abbott that filling Murdoch's pocket is NOT acceptable and to just put in Labor's NBN, so that AUSTRALIA can have a FUTURE.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    6:53am
    Mozzie Bait ---- Are you for real. You just have no idea. Don't mention NBN and labor please. That was one of their biggest disasters. Cost blow out to 79 billion. Wow, what an achievement.
    alfie
    12th Dec 2013
    4:58pm
    For manufacturing to survive in Australia it must firstly be supported by its people because of its small market. Buy Australian made products first or the manufacturing sector will go. Don't blame any government if manufacturing goes overseas. We are all to blame for not supporting it. Australian have to be more patriotic not only in sports or others but most of all in manufacturing to keep people employed.
    FEDUP
    12th Dec 2013
    5:40pm
    Before the last General Election, Ford announced that they were losing money, that the Australian Government had given them 110,000,000 (110 Million) to keep going in the previous 3 budgets. However they had lost 600 million dollars, and were closing the Geelong Plant.
    Why did the then Australian Government not ask for the 500 million, that had been subsidized to Ford, to be returned. Ford should not have been allowed to take a screw, bolt or nut from Australia, nor transfer any money to their mother company in the States.
    The same can be said for the Australian Company HOLDEN (General Moters USA), not a screw, robotic arms, bolt, nut or money to go back to the States. A simple way to support the car industry, if all things are equal, is for the Fringe Benefit Tax to be applied only to fully Australian manufactured cars, exempting all imported vehicles from the tax exemption. That way we would have only the NEW ICONIC AUSTRALIAN CAR, not wanting
    handouts and being able to support itself.
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    8:19pm
    I have an idea !
    How about this
    AUSTRALIA PURCHASE THE FORD & HOLDEN FACTORIES
    Albeit - ruth be told
    AUSTRALIA GAVE IT TO THEM FOR FREE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
    The workers are ours so they cannot take them when they go
    The workers know what to do & away we go
    How wrong can we get it I ask you - after all it's not like we are spastic hey !
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    8:22pm
    I bet it is "them" that is the problem in the first place.
    AND
    We sell the ABC & put that cash towards the operations to start with
    If we could afford to bring Oprah Winfery & her 400 STRONG AUDIENCE TO AUSTRALIA & put them up for who knows how long & God only knows at what cost we can afford anything.
    Anonymous
    13th Dec 2013
    11:53am
    I agree whole heartedly Nightshade. Some common sense and practical solutions.
    geomac
    12th Dec 2013
    8:27pm
    Australia has a tariff so low as to be non existent , 5% while competing countries who manufacture cars have high tariffs . Australia subsidises its car industry less than our competitor countries do . The high dollar has diminished our exports .
    The way Australia is going it should stop immigration now as we will not have enough diverse jobs to sustain a larger population . Our cities are falling behind with infrastructure while populations increase . The bigger Australia is a ponzi scheme for estate agents and govts that see only short term gains .
    Abby
    13th Dec 2013
    5:33pm
    You say a lot of truth there Geomac
    Nutriwise
    13th Dec 2013
    6:05pm
    I agree with geomac. As a society and country Australia needs to stop immigration to this country. Employers are only too happy to imploy these people in preference to people born in this country. How often have you gone to a shop or called a company's contact centre only to be attended to by someone who can't even speak english? We need to look after ourselves, have everyone who wants to work be able to find that work, buy Australian to keep our businesses afloat. Cheap labour may be all very well, nice and good if you are a business owner, but at what cost to the taxpayers, charities and to the self esteem of theses who have been made redundant and thrown on the scrap heap. This needs to be a country for Australians, not an easy touch for those who look at this country and its resources with covetous eyes.
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    8:33pm
    Did ASIO run a check on Bill Gates to make sure he was not running a scam when he asked for money ?
    But more important / the bigger question is this - did we give him any monies & if so can we get them back & that goes for every other freeloader who darkened our doorstep while the Labor /Green Party's was throwing the money around.
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    9:07pm
    Magna Steyr AG & Co KG - is an automobile manufacturer based in Graz Austria. It is a subsidiary of Canadian International. Magna Steyr engineers, develops & assembles automobiles for other companies on a contractual basis:
    Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic four wheel drive (4wd) system & all E-Class 4Matic models - substantial development on the BMW X3 & manufactures all first generation x3's, the Austin Martin Rapide - Audi TT - Fiat Brono - Peugeot RCZ.
    There is work out there for the Australian Automobile industry if we want it - after these jokers go mate !
    Nightshade
    12th Dec 2013
    10:45pm
    I found some cash-
    Denis Napthine says General Motors will dig deep in it's pockets to help cost of retraining sacked workers - this is cash that can be channeled into the restructure of the Australian Automobile industry.
    Ford will tip $25 million into Victoria's economy [this money is not for you to use MR. Napthine but to plow back into the Australian Automobile Manufacturing Industry of the future -]
    If the AUTO MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA IS SHUT DOWN the whole political arena federal & state needs to be scrapped -
    There are buyers out there & partners that are interested there are no excuses.
    AND WE HAVE THE TALENT & EXPERIENCE
    So - is the Australian political arena worth anything at all or do they belong on the dole que .../?
    COWBOY
    12th Dec 2013
    11:58pm
    O,so holdens closing shop,Fords gone, toyota will go,all the factorys that make the parts they will go, Qantas well who ownes that not much Australian in that, Please explain to me when we have so much un emoloyment and going to be thousands more, why the hell does these idiots in government think that by letting thousands of people from overseas flood this country by the thousands why do they say its good for the country, there is no jobs here for them so why bring them out to pay them the dole, You can only put so many people in a boat before it sinks and this boat is sinking, our road system cant cope,our hospitals are choked our housing is full up people sleeping in cars or under bridges,and still they bring them out,what hope has the ford,,holden,,toyota workers got,, no hope at all.
    dougie
    13th Dec 2013
    7:40am
    Maybe this is the idea - no manufacturing - no jobs for illegal intruders - result - no more boat people.

    How tongue in cheek can one get?
    dougie
    13th Dec 2013
    7:40am
    Maybe this is the idea - no manufacturing - no jobs for illegal intruders - result - no more boat people.

    How tongue in cheek can one get?
    BlackCatWalking
    13th Dec 2013
    10:15am
    Here is an interesting and balanced argument from Waleed Aly in the SMH.

    In the short term, there's no consistency in politics. Back when the Gillard government announced the carbon tax, it took about six seconds for the Coalition to scream this would cost jobs and devastate entire towns. Bollocks, retorted Labor, occasionally by way of karaoke.

    Sure, some industries would be hit, but they were the kind of industries the environment needed us to scale back. Meanwhile, we would create shiny, eco-friendly jobs. People would retrain and find new opportunities. The workforce was adaptable and dynamic.

    Now, with nobody really noticing, Labor and the Coalition seem to have swapped positions. As Labor inspects the carcass of the Australian car industry, it foreshadows monstrous job losses, the devastation of manufacturing towns in South Australia and Victoria, and protests that you can't simply ask people who have spent their lives assembling cars suddenly to work in nursing homes. And the Coalition is suddenly brimming with confidence that these things are always transient, evolving and ultimately leave us stronger.

    But in the long run, things are far more consistent than all that. The truth is that the death of Australian car making did not begin on election day, September 7, but 30 years ago, when the Hawke government began abolishing tariffs and opening us to global competition.
    Advertisement

    This was declared a necessary step in Australia's economic evolution. It would bring growth, dynamism and, after some pain, prosperity.

    When Labor today argues the Coalition is sacrificing blue-collar workers at the altar of an economic theory, it omits that, in Australia, Labor was that very theory's midwife. Ask Paul Keating. Actually, don't bother. He's already given his answer when asked what he'd say to blue-collar workers whose jobs disappeared on his watch: "What do I say? 'What's your new job like.' … I mean, did we ever hurt anybody liberating them from the car assembly line?"

    For now, an argument rages on whether more government money would have saved Holden. The opposition insists $150 million would have done it. The government points out that Holden, like Ford before it, has been "saved" in this manner several times before, only to be unsaved and threaten to leave again. The truth is we'll never know because Holden won't tell us, and even if it did, it would be guessing.

    Either way, the government's argument is interesting because it boils down to the assertion that there is nothing it could reasonably have done to prevent this; that this decision was out of its hands and was based on economic factors largely beyond its control. But in defending itself, the government has made an epic admission: that we're not really in control of our economy.

    And that much is the heretical truth. We chose to make it true when we threw our lot in with the global free market. We'll never admit this in stark terms. We'll continue to argue over each sensational development such as this week's. But the grander theme cannot be resisted: we do not call our own shots; no longer is there a hierarchy with the nation-state on top and everyone else - corporations, civil society and citizens - below.

    Power is shared now. Companies play countries off against each other looking for the best deal, much as we haggle over a shop purchase. Our world isn't exactly borderless - and some countries are more protectionist than others - but those borders now seem to denote zones rather than dominions. The world is a country now, and nations are its cities.

    That's where the difficulties start. The idea of an economy is that people can move within it, that labour flows to where it is most needed. In the case of car making, our workers just aren't needed. Not because they're not good at what they do, but because countless other people are good at it, too, and for a fraction of the cost.

    It's not just Australia experiencing this. Take Japan, that car-making behemoth. It's lost about a quarter of its industry in the past five years. Even South Korea, whose workers earn about half of what ours do, has been in decline since 2011. These cars are now made in China and Thailand. Cheaply.

    Remember Gina Rinehart's declaration that Australia can't compete while Africans are prepared to work for $2 per day? The problem with her argument is not that she's wrong. It's that, by the global free market's own lights, she is scandalously right.

    Those lights tell us to specialise; to do what we can do better, or cheaper than anyone else. That's the logic we've embraced. Just last week we signed a free trade agreement with South Korea, which both major parties had worked on. The upshot: great for agriculture, bad for car making. Labor didn't quibble. Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the agreement was about "backing our strengths". That's what we do now.

    But nations are diverse. People within them have a huge range of skills. Globalisation's demand that every nation specialise sits in contradiction with the social fact that not everyone is well placed to fit within our specialties. The market has its solution to that, too: labour mobility. You either acquire new skills or go where your skills will be rewarded. But the social and political reality is more complicated. Perpetual reskilling is expensive and not always successful, and Holden's workforce isn't about to move to Thailand.

    The larger story here isn't really about our car industry, or whether we could have delayed Holden's decision to some other day. It's about the fact our politics don't match our economics: that the assumptions of a hyper-specialised global free market and its effortlessly mobile labour force don't reflect the more diversified, comparatively static nature of our societies.

    Twenty years from now, Holden's departure will be just another marker on a journey the direction of which is clear and irreversible. We'll continue shedding industries. We'll continue developing new ones.

    But no one can honestly guarantee the same people harmed in the first process will be rescued by the second. And the political heat this generates will merely disguise the fact that this is a matter of political consensus.
    Oars
    13th Dec 2013
    6:11pm
    Lets get off the political thing. This crowd at Holden are losing money, yet the US owners are still rich. The workers are getting special treatment by training them to get other employment inside 3 years. Only a dummy stays onto a sinking ship. The workers and the suppliers are all capable of getting other employment- its just the standover Union that keeps bleating away to get their "Craig Thompson" type salary/expenses paid for. Wake up Australia, other businesses that struggled did NOT get any Government handout, why should this Yank managed mob with fat cat Union bosses winging be an exception.
    Rosscoe
    13th Dec 2013
    6:41pm
    Oars, the trouble is that every day this newly elected government is making bad decisions, e.g. the speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, doesn't even make democratic decisions because of her bias (have a look at televised parliament sometime). Medical Practitioners get subsidised by the government every time our they see a patient. This Holden decision is going to have such negative effects on Australia's economy, future commnetators will say "How did they they get it so wrong?"
    geomac
    13th Dec 2013
    8:54pm
    Oars
    The mining industry gets a couple of billion every year in fuel subsidies and thats 83% foreign owned . Negative gearing costs many many billions and creates no productivity just lost tax . Training ? Mickey mouse training for non existent jobs means the dole which in turn means extra cost and no revenue via tax . Workers over 45/50 already have trouble gaining employment another 30 thousand or more will not help that situation . I think you will find that there have numerous industries that have had govt assistance in the last twnety years .
    MITZY
    14th Dec 2013
    10:48am
    I heard a reporter on TV's Sunrise programme this morning saying just because Holden is a well-known and recognised company it gets this publicity and the shock horror feelings of the masses ensues. He said there are so many businesses and thousands of workers losing their jobs every day of the week here and have done for decades. Because they are not "icons" nobody hears about them. He indicated that there was no outcry when the Fairfax group sacked 2,000 of their workers last year.
    He said thousands of jobs are lost and thousands find work in other areas.
    I've heard Max Presnell a sporting reporter with the SMH indicate that one of his good mates and a sporting journalist with the SMH couldn't get re-employed in the same type of job even though he had the best of qualifications. These days he lives on the Central Coast and drives a school bus and is quite happy doing so, at least he is supporting his wife and two children and eventually better opportunities will present.
    I hate this political footballing. The government of whatever persuasion that is in office will do the best it can to soften the blows for the workers. Not everyone will come out of the ashes unscathed but that is life. There is an outcry this morning about two car parts manufacturers closing their doors. This is a case of probably those business not keeping up with technology and trends and investing in them. You have to do this to stay viable. For those two manufacturers going out of business today, there are still many more in the same industry who are well run businesses and who are exporting these car parts around the world because they are keeping up with "new tricks of trade". What happened to the "clever" country we were promoting some time back? It's still here, it just needs a poke in the ribs.
    Where we need to do a whole lot more is fairly evident, encourage every child to buckle down and get the best education they can. The majority of clever students presently come from Asia, some from Asian countries much poorer than ours. They have a study ethic much higher than ours. There are always the exceptions to this general consensus. The Holden workers who are closer to retirement may feel they have fallen on their feet with their redundancy/super/retirement packages and not wish to go job hunting. Some of the younger ones may be quite happy to re-train for different jobs as they may not be overly happy with what they are doing now. Governments will assist in re-training.

    We just have to hope that we keep at least Toyota here even though our government has indicated it will not be financially assisting them. And, that's the way it should be, businesses should not be bailed out by the taxpayer if they have been greedy and over-paying CEO'S and/or sending their profits overseas instead of investing some of those profits in new technology and keeping up with modern practices.
    MITZY
    14th Dec 2013
    11:02am
    Holden has been here "forever" it is an "icon". Its sad to see it going, however the high dollar and the other factors it mentioned adding to its future demise in 2017, are only part of it. It hasn't mentioned it could have been at faul in not being innovative enough. However, these type of closures are happening in many countries the world over and the businesses world-wide seem to be "tarred with the same brush". We are such a small world these days, cancer spreads quickly.
    fish head
    15th Dec 2013
    7:07am
    Any industry which relies on Government assistance is doomed in the long run.To exist a company must make a profit. If it can't then it goes out of business. Propping up failing businesses is money down the drain. Money put by in good times should float a company over slower times if it is healthy.Ignore the sentimental "spin" and look at the balance sheet.
    Rosscoe
    15th Dec 2013
    10:17am
    Following this logic, bus and train services should be shut down. Governments exist to provided these sorts of services. We pay our taxes to the Federal Govt to make decent decisions, not throw people out of work. This was a bad decision.
    MiningMagnet
    15th Dec 2013
    8:08pm
    This is not logic at all
    If we took the billions the govt has been providing the pastoral, mining, insurance and other industries in welfare out of the balance sheets of these industries it would simply act to identify how badly managed most corporate activities are.
    Most family businesses (ie small business) outside these industries do not receive govt welfare (oops.. I mean 'industry support) and therefore must manage their commercial realities without assistance.
    Business in Australia has been - and remains - the biggest sector recipient of welfare in the country.
    This song and dance act currently being acted out is simply to conceal the range of inept management decisions (and govt direction) the aussie manufacturers (I should say ..assemblers) have made over the last 5 to 20 years.
    The horsefeathers about high costs etc are very, very easily offset by the generous tax treatment and input profits the overseas car industry has been extracting from us ever since their inception.
    Only when the 'Productivity Commission' includes the impact of poor management decision and direction on output, will we be able to accurately analyse business effectiveness.
    Until then the 'productivity' figures remain irrelevant
    fish head
    15th Dec 2013
    3:50pm
    Governments exist to provide PUBLIC SERVICES not keep private companies afloat. If the books cannot be balanced it would be public monies down the drain. Bad about the jobs especially at this time of the year.
    Jurassicgeek
    17th Dec 2013
    10:46am
    A Holden made in China???? Who would buy it?? prolly millions.. they make most of the parts anyway...Great Wall Holden?? eh! the mind boggles!. (Wall Holden?,Great Holden? or maybe just a Holden China) We have to change our ways ...or we will lose more industries...
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    12:48pm
    Holden's management masks a union culture beyond most people's comprehension. Employment costs spiralled way beyond community standards long ago. Neither "pay freezes" nor more money will save Holden, but getting the Fair Work Commission to dissolve the agreement and put all workers on the award wage might be a start.

    In 1991, the pre-enterprise bargaining award wage of a Holden entry level process worker was $462.80 a week. In 1992, Holden began enterprise bargaining and now a worker at that same classification level has a base rate of $1194.50 a week, a 158 per cent increase, or a compound increase of 4.4 per cent year on year for 22 years. Right now, base wage rates for process workers in the Holden enterprise agreement are in the $60,000 to $80,000 per year range and in recent times, "hardship payments" of $3750 were given to each worker.

    The modern award for such workers mandates base rates in the $37,000 to $42,000 range. This means that before we add any of the shift penalties, loadings, 26 allowances and the added cost of productivity restrictions, Holden begins each working day paying its workforce almost double what it should. After you add in the other employment costs, I estimate Holden's workforce costs it somewhere close to triple the amount it should.

    Many people who work at Holden don't actually work for Holden; they work for the union. Occupational health and safety people are given 10 days' paid time off a year to be trained by the union. Most companies do not allow unions to train their OH&S people because the knowledge is used to control the workplace to the benefit of the union.

    Union delegates are also allowed up to 10 paid days a year for union training in how to be effective union delegates and two of these delegates are entitled to an extra Holden sponsorship of one paid month off to "further their industrial and/or leadership development".

    Holden's rules on hiring casuals are shocking and unheard of in today's market. The agreement forbids Holden from hiring casuals except when a "short-term increase in workload, or other unusual circumstances occurs". If this situation arises Holden has to "consult and reach agreement" with the union. Further, "Engagement of the agreed number of casual personnel will be for the agreed specified tasks and the agreed specified periods." If any of this changes, Holden must get union agreement again. After three months of continuous full-time work a casual must be made permanent. It is impossible to run a business like this.

    An ex-employee from Adelaide, on condition of anonymity, consented to an interview yesterday. He described the workforce as "over-managed", with one team leader for every six workers on the production line, when one for every 25 workers would suffice.

    He said "some of us workers felt it wasn't necessary to get paid what we were getting paid to do the jobs we were doing", adding that their work is probably worth about "20 bucks an hour". A few years back, mates took redundancy packages in the order of "$280k plus". Workers are "like sheep" that blindly follow the union leadership. At induction, new workers are ushered into one-on-one meetings with the union rep who heavies them into joining. "It is made clear that if you don't join the union you will be sacked," he said. Union representatives "don't actually do any work for Holden", but rather make themselves full-time enforcers of union control.

    He says workers are drug tested before hiring, but "only have to stay off it for a few weeks, get in the door and then you'll be right". Workers caught taking drugs or being drug-affected at work are allegedly put on a fully paid rehabilitation program, with special paid time off of about four weeks duration, before being let back into the workforce.

    Australian workplaces have a zero tolerance for drug use, with instant dismissal the remedy, but at Holden "the union won't let the company sack" any workers caught dealing, taking or being on drugs. "If they did a random drug test tomorrow they'd probably have to sack 40 per cent of the workforce," he adds.

    If the Holden scenario were playing out in a privately owned business, proper cost-cutting strategies would be used. If you have the will and can hire the skill, there are many ways to cut labour costs. The workers can be given a couple of years notice of significant wage drops and can receive lump sum payouts of entitlements to help bring down family debt.

    Of course, these strategies are only ever used by business people who have no one else to bail them out. It seems Holden would rather leave the country than dissolve its enterprise agreement. The union thinks members are better off jobless than on award wages. Holden's fate seems sealed.

    If Holden does leave, workers will receive the most generous redundancy benefits around. Holden says leaving will cost $600m. Most of this will go to staff payouts. The fellow interviewed agrees with my calculation: the average production-line worker will walk away with a redundancy package of between $300k-500k.

    ...........................
    Base rates paid to GMH workers are $60-80K. In an earlier article Grace Collier said that with penalties, loadings etc, $110-130K is about the norm. Add to that redundancy packages between $330-500K.

    All for relatively unskilled labour! They're being paid twice what they're worth under the EBA. If they dissolved that and went under Award, GMH may well have made it.
    geomac
    17th Dec 2013
    6:18pm
    In 2010, Germany produced more than 5.5 million automobiles; the U.S produced 2.7 million. At the same time, the average auto worker in Germany made $67.14 per hour in salary in benefits; the average one in the U.S. made $33.77 per hour. Yet Germany’s big three car companies—BMW, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz ), and Volkswagen—are very profitable.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2011/12/21/germany-builds-twice-as-many-cars-as-the-u-s-while-paying-its-auto-workers-twice-as-much/
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    6:58pm
    And how does the productivity of workers compare? I suspect that Germany has greater automation and fewer workers per vehicle produced. Holden's productivity is poor.


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