May 23, 2013

Ford closure is overdue and irrelevant to Australian manufacturing

The closure of Ford in Australia, announced today, is overdue and says little other than that a protected company lost touch with consumers. The eventual cessation of taxpayer bribes to Ford to maintain an uncompetitive production line is welcome news.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Is Ford’s closure of its Australian operations, announced in Melbourne today, a disaster? Are its employees, plus the component manufacturers that depend on Ford, victims of the strong dollar and economic rationalist ideology? Does this demonstrate the decline and fall of Aussie manufacturing?

No, no and no.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

28 thoughts on “Ford closure is overdue and irrelevant to Australian manufacturing

  1. John Somerville

    I don’t know why Australians don’t want to buy Fords. The GR6 is probably the best car ever made in this country, way better than Toyotas product.

  2. John Somerville

    By the way intellectual property (as in internet bloggong and journalism) is pretty worthless these days, I’d expect manufacturing workers in Australia would earn more than most bloggers.

  3. Darryn Lister

    Arrogant ill-informed fool!

  4. Dave Sag

    Bernard there is only one reason that all governments all over the world prop up their car industries, and that’s fear of war. No country wants to suddenly find it lacks large scale mass manufacturing of industrial vehicles, or worse that it’s outsourced those manufacturing skills to their enemies, when a full-on shooting war comes to town. Governments of all stripes will spend a fortune in peace-time to make sure these skills are well honed in case of war. Is war likely? Who knows, but that’s not the point. The point is that all countries pour money into these sorts of engineering and manufacturing industries just in case they are ever needed on a massive scale. That is why we continually bail out the car industry.

  5. Boston the Dog

    Whilst I feel sorry for the employees of Ford and the component manufacturers the plain fact is that both Ford and GMH have relied on producing cars that Australians simply don’t want anymore.

    They have been doing this for at least the last 15 years. Times have changed and the definition of quintessential Australian family car has changed. Ford and GMH didn’t.

    If it wasn’t for fleet sales and the taxi fleets, the Falcon and Commodore would have been vaporized years ago.

    A very sad day for the workers and their families.

  6. Mr Tank

    As long as it is that you have carried a torch for burning down the Australian car making industry you are yet to make a cogent argument refuting its supporters claims of its strategic importance.
    Give it up Bernard!

  7. Mark Errey

    Bernard I don’t agree that the non-viability of car manufacturing in this country is so cut and dried as you would have us believe. I agree at the moment it is a pretty hard row to hoe with the dollar making competing imports relatively cheap. Currencies however don’t stay high forever and a period seems to be ahead where the dollar may more accurately follow the terms of trade. A 20% fall in the dollar and car manufacturing in this country looks a hell of a lot healthier. Let’s not forget where the dollar has been around 70c US for a very long time prior to the late 2000s. While letting the car industry might make sense if you take a very short view, over the longer term it is a different story.

  8. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    John Somerville, the Falcon is about 25 years old. It weighs nearly two tonnes. It has an ancient engine design and no resale value (I’ve owned them for decades). Ford and Holden should have got out of big cars 10 years ago. But while local, state and federal governments pour taxpayer and ratepayer monies into manufacturers, car parks and the complete dinosaur of V8 Supercars, it is (or was) only a matter of time before both manufacturers folded. Townsville City Council is right in the middle of deciding whether to allocate several more millions to build track and promotion to keep the V8s coming to Town. I say they should stop wasting ratepayers money but others elected them too.
    Speaking of Toyota, if Ford followed the leader and introduced a four cylinder and/or diesel version of the Falcon 10 years ago it might have had a new life. But hey, what would I know. My 2003 ex-gov BA sedan is either a collector’s item or a liability today. No, it’s just an old Falcon worth bugger-all but still reliable – I’ll keep it.

  9. bushby jane

    There are so many supporting manufacturing jobs involved other than the actual car manufacturing that makes this pending closure so devastating. It seems to me that governments should have been adding conditions to support funding, like telling them to make cars that people want to buy! Wouldn’t it be marvelous if we could build an Australian car with decisions being made about manufacture in Australia rather than USA-what would they know or care about us, they couldn’t get it right in their own country! Other than that, another reason to restore tariffs etc.

  10. pelligrene rasmus

    did i hear $1 billion since 2000?

    thats insane, let it di.e already, enough is enough

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details