Oh God! The nation’s biggest welfare bludgers are whinging again.
The government is being heavied to dole out billions of dollars of new aid to Australia’s car industry in the wake of Ford’s decision to close its Geelong engine manufacturing plant.
Andrew McKellar, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, has told The Australian that car-makers want to renegotiate the rest of a $7.3 billion government support package for Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Mitsubishi, due to expire in 2015.
But Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane should listen to industry analyst John Mellor instead.
He points out that Ford opted to stay within the Australian market rather than expand into exports like Toyota did.
Then there’s the matter of the Geelong plant’s product – an ageing six-cylinder engine that only measures up to the Euro III emissions regulations.
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The four-cylinder Toyota Camry and six-cylinder Toyota Aurion already comply with the later Euro IV standard.
Our much molly-coddled manufacturers of vehicles still suffer from the delusion that they don’t need to actually look after customer needs and instead can stay on the government tit.
Ford is in a hole – but here’s a simple Q&A that might give them some clues:
Q: Which country has been driving demand for oil that has pushed petrol prices to record levels, and reduced demand for big old thirsty six cylinder cars?
Q: Which country has been driving the demand for resources that has pushed the Australian dollar to record levels, making Australian manufacturing hopelessly uncompetitive?
Q: Which country has pegged its currency to the US dollar making its exported goods artificially cheap?
Perhaps they should demolish the factory, clear the site and call in the geologists and get digging.
They might find a more useful product in the ground.