When Mitsubishi launched its doomed 380 sedan last year, the Adelaide Advertiser may have well changed its name to The Advertorial. It featured South Australians from Alexander Downer down spouting parochial pap promoting the local lemon. The only dissenting voice I recall in its pages was spinmeister Ian Smith.

Today, though, something seems to have happened. Journo Bryan Littlely writes:

Reports that Mitsubishi’s Tonsley Park plant is on the brink of closure should come as no surprise to anyone. The simplest facts are that 20,312 of the Adelaide-built 380 sedans must be sold over the next month if the car is to meet its initial first-year sales target of 32,500.

More than 15,000 of the cars must be sold by October 18 to meet the redetermined first-year sales target of 27,000 cars, made in January when 250 jobs were sliced from the Tonsley production line. With only about 70 of the cars being built each day, it is an impossibility …

He gets braver:

Mitsubishi — in a climate which has all new Holden and Toyota products competing in a falling large car segment — will have to work some magic if it is to maintain monthly sales figures of more than 1,000 of the V6 sedans, which the company this week said it could afford to do because it had “restructured operations” to keep the car in production.

It is time Mitsubishi, the state and federal governments and all the parochial supporters of this locally built car stop agonising over the demise of Mitsubishi’s local car production and embraced what is a prime opportunity to make a clean and very beneficial break for all concerned by shutting down Tonsley Park.

And who knows. He may even be a Crikey reader – as he’s picked up our line from yesterday:

With about 1,400 skilled workers at Tonsley Park, and a growing number of sectors desperate for such workers, releasing them into the job market would help deliver vital projects, products and resources for the state and help both the state and the individual workers prosper …

Gosh. It’s all rather like starting on the Twelve Steps of AA.

Peter Fray

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