GM pulls the pin on Holden

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From General Motors:

DETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017.

“We are completely dedicated to strengthening our global operations while meeting the needs of our customers,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world.”

As a result of the company’s actions, approximately 2,900 positions will be impacted over the next four years. This will comprise 1,600 from the Elizabeth vehicle manufacturing plant and approximately 1,300 from Holden’s Victorian workforce.

Holden will continue to have a significant presence in Australia beyond 2017, comprising a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio.

GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said an important priority over the next four years would be to ensure the best possible transition for workers in South Australia and Victoria.

“This has been a difficult decision given Holden’s long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia,” said Devereux. “We are dedicated to working with our teams, unions and the local communities, along with the federal and state governments, to support our people.”

The sale and service of Holden vehicles will be unaffected by this announcement and will continue through the extensive network of Holden dealers across Australia and New Zealand. Warranty terms and spare parts availability will remain unchanged.

“GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognize the need for change and understand the government’s point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers,” Devereux said.

Since 2001, the Australian dollar has risen from US$0.50 to as high as US$1.10 and from as low as 47 to as high as 79 on the Trade Weighted Index. The Australian automotive industry is heavily trade exposed. The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier.

With the decision to discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $400 million to $600 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The charges would consist of approximately $300 million to $500 million for non-cash asset impairment charges including property, plant and equipment and approximately $100 million for cash payment of exit-related costs including certain employee severance related costs. Additional charges are expected to be incurred through 2017 for incremental future cash payments of employee severance once negotiations of the amount are completed with the employees’ union. The asset impairment charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted reporting purposes.

 

Comments

  1. If this is right, that A$ should now fall……it’s too late for Holden, but whatever is left of the export sector might want to thank them for their sacrifice…..

    • AUD still above 91c but thats mostly because the market is decidedly ‘taper off’ or ‘taper small’. Looking at the euro, aud and usd, it does appear as if the risky asset purchases are now being made in euros. The last time the US index was this low, the AUD was well over 94c.

  2. darklydrawlMEMBER

    Whilst not a surprise, This is going to have a big hit on South Australia, Especially the northern suburbs and also a major impact in Victoria.

    Ouch!

    And now the next big question is what is Toyota’s next move?

    • They need Holden for components don’t they? The house of cards falls down now. We have just created our very own Detroit.

    • dumb_non_economist

      Maybe the silver lining is that people might just start to realise that this country has its back against the wall economically and that it isn’t a good time to be forever paying more to put a roof over your head or that it’s a great investment that will double every 7-10 yrs.

      Holden going should be seen as the third quarter siren.

      • General Disarray

        Maybe. Or maybe the broader public will just see this as a bunch of overpaid bludgers finally losing their jobs – that seems to be the Rupertarian line.

        Such contempt for their fellow man/women. No-one works as hard as them or is as deserving. If only everyone could be as special and deserving as say… management in the FIRE sector.

      • A bit like how the left declares that anyone on $100k lives like Donald Trump and should be taxed to hell and be made to pay for others’ children, and basically anything and everything the left’s heart desires.

      • General Disarray

        A bit like how the left declares that anyone on $100k lives like Donald Trump and should be taxed to hell and be made to pay for others’ children, and basically anything and everything the left’s heart desires.

        Your delusions have nothing to do with this discussion.

      • “No-one works as hard as them or is as deserving.”

        If you think that’s the right has a monopoly on thinking like that you’re deluded.

      • General Disarray

        If you think that’s the right has a monopoly on thinking like that you’re deluded.

        No, I think halfwits think like that. The fact it rattled your cage is no surprise.

  3. GunnamattaMEMBER

    http://media.gm.com/content/media/au/en/holden/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/au/en/2013/Dec/1211_National_Sales_Company.html

    GM to Transition to a National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand

    Company to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017
    2013-12-11

    DETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announcedit would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it woulddiscontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017.

    “We are completely dedicated to strengthening our global operations while meeting the needs of our customers,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “The decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the perfect storm of negative influences the automotive industry faces in the country, including the sustained strength of the Australian dollar, high cost of production, small domestic market and arguably the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world.”
    As a result of the company’s actions, approximately 2,900 positions will be impacted over the next four years. This will comprise 1,600 from the Elizabeth vehicle manufacturing plant and approximately 1,300 from Holden’s Victorian workforce.
    Holden will continue to have a significant presence in Australia beyond 2017, comprising a national sales company, a national parts distribution centre and a global design studio.

    GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said an important priority over the next four years would be to ensure the best possible transition for workers in South Australia and Victoria.

    “This has been a difficult decision given Holden’s long and proud history of building vehicles in Australia,” said Devereux. “We are dedicated to working with our teams, unions and the local communities, along with the federal and state governments, to support our people.”

    The sale and service of Holden vehicles will be unaffected by this announcement and will continue through the extensive network of Holden dealers across Australia and New Zealand. Warranty terms and spare parts availability will remain unchanged.

    “GM remains committed to the automotive industry in Australia and New Zealand. We recognize the need for change and understand the government’s point of view. Moving forward, our business model will change significantly however, GM Holden will remain an integral part of its communities and an important employer both directly and through our dealers,” Devereux said.

    Since 2001, the Australian dollar has risen from US$0.50 to as high as US$1.10 and from as low as 47 to as high as 79 on the Trade Weighted Index. The Australian automotive industry is heavily trade exposed. The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier.

    With the decision to discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, GM expects to record pre-tax charges of $400 million to $600 millionin the fourth quarter of 2013. The charges would consist of approximately $300 million to $500 million for non-cash asset impairment charges including property, plant and equipment and approximately $100 million for cash payment of exit-related costs including certain employee severance related costs. Additional charges are expected to be incurred through 2017 for incremental future cash payments of employee severance once negotiations of the amount are completed with the employees’ union. The asset impairment charges will be considered special for EBIT-adjusted reporting purposes.

    General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Since 2001, the Australian dollar has risen from US$0.50 to as high as US$1.10 and from as low as 47 to as high as 79 on the Trade Weighted Index. The Australian automotive industry is heavily trade exposed. The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier.

      • Thanks for the post and yes I caught that in there! It should never have been as low as USD0.50 but when you’re a commodity FX play that’s what you get – too lows and too highs – along with the fluctuations in commodities.

        The high AUD has given the Australian consumer a glass jaw and I wonder how many more hits like this will it take to shatter it?

      • “It should never have been as low as USD0.50 ”

        Mig
        I have to ask why not? Did we start running massive Current Account Surpluses? Nope! Not that, in the short term, a dip in the currency fixes anything anyway. We need it DOWN massively, long term with some certainty, to run surpluses and maybe buy some of our own country back. Getting everyone to agree on such a path would be another matter.

      • flawse: partly because commodities should never have been at the lows they were in the late 90s (silver $4/oz for crying out loud!), all that hot money was going into tech startups and commodities were hated. Partly because the AUD plays a significant enough role in FX markets that you’d someone would have been buying at USD0.60

      • @ Flawse

        Let’s see how the moronic the MSM & LNP spin this cause that they have no idea. (there was no GFC and the great destroyer was the Carbon Tax).

        Surely the Treasury officials have to be sacked now it is one thing to get the crystal ball gazing wrong but to totally miss the dollar/manufacturing issue must have heads rolling.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        @Mark Out West

        This was the game plan.

        They pushed the AUD higher (or allowed it to go higher and stay there) in order to nail tradable inflation to the floor while the fitted a mining capex boom into the economy.

        The high AUD was intended.

    • Excuse my ignorance here, so is there a long game being played here by the RBA or are they playing election cycles as well?

    • I assume you mean a depression? In 4 of the last 6 quarters SA has recorded a drop in GSP.

      This is surely the final nail in the labor government’s coffin

    • KeenEyeKenMEMBER

      4 of the last 6 quarters? The ABS doesnt publish quarterly GSP figures, so I’m assuming you’re using state final demand as a proxy. It’s an inappropriate measure that is commonly made (simpleton journos love it), which largely ignores the impact of trade on the state.

      By your metric, WA has had 3 of its past 4 quarters in recession – even though their GSP grew 5.1% in 2012-13.

      For the record, SA’s latest GSP increased 1.3% for the 2012-13 year. They’re not firing, but they’re not yet in recession either.

  4. I blame lack of government support (australia supports car manufacturing the least out off all other developed economies)

    Second I blame the currency wars, Australia is the loser as we have failed to participate.

    RBA and Feds should hang there heads in shame

  5. This decision was made long ago. No surprise at all. As I’ve said before, a few years to implement and adapt.

  6. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Just in case anyone missed it this was yesterdays Bernard Keane piece – he argues it will have minimal impact.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/10/manufacturing/time-put-brakes-auto-industry-handouts

    Time to put the brakes on auto industry handouts

    Crikey

    The continuing focus on the future of General Motors’ local operation and the broader automotive manufacturing industry is wholly out of proportion to the industry’s significance in the wider economy.

    This is a wider economy with an average private debt to disposable income level of circa 150%, in an economy where mining capex, which has driven it for circa 5 years or so, is going to back to circa 1.5% from circa 8%, and with an exposed sector working with an AUD circa 25% above where it should be, and where investment in that exposed sector has not made an iota of sense for about 5 years. That wider economy is not within a bulls roar of being globally competitive in anything apart from digging things out of the ground and loading that onto boats – which may employ circa 5% of the population.

    The car industry employs 46,000 people.

    Those 46K punters are largely focussed in SA and VIC, which are essentially in recession already.

    The total transport equipment manufacturing sector employs 76,000 people, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data. That’s around 8 per cent of the total manufacturing workforce, and two-thirds of one per cent of the entire Australian workforce.

    Is there a single question asked of transport equipment manufacturing which would not conceivably be asked of manufacturing as a whole? (let us not forget the recent departure of Electrolux etc) If manufacturing employs circa 8% of the workforce the question becomes what is the impact of 8% of the Australian workforce becoming redundant? what is the impact on the financial system? House prices? Government outlays?

    To put that in perspective, that’s around half of the number employed in food manufacturing and food retailing, and the same number as employed in each of the telecommunications, super and insurance funds industries.

    That is 8% of the workforce concentrated into fairly identifiable locations. That 8% would presumably impact on the profitability of telecommunications and super & insurance industries, and would also directly affect wage levels on the food manufacturing industry. Again we come back to what impact, and over what timeframe, would saying goodbye to that 8% have on the Australian economy and budget, and even real estate prices?

    Greens MP Adam Bandt today tried to claim that the closure of Holden, coupled with the government’s mooted 12,000 public service job cuts, might send the economy into recession. For a start, the 12,000 cuts are on hold because Labor got there first and were intended to be over four years, while Holden wouldn’t close until 2016. Presumably Bandt is warning of a recession in 2016-17.

    The ALP public service cuts are predicated on a growing economy minimising the impact. What would be the impact of those cuts if the economy wasn’t growing (ie someone decided to shed manufacturing – or a part of it, and sending the message to the rest that we don’t manufacture here?) Might they have an impact on retail sentiment? Even the ALP cuts were optimistic on the assumption that housing construction could somehow fill in as mining capex wound back – and Joe would be looking that seasonal adjustment in the eyeballs right about now. Bandt will have a recession in 4 weeks if Holden ups stumps now.

    And even if 58,000 jobs disappeared overnight, it would be well under 1 per cent of total employment.

    Oh well if its only 1% we have another 99% to go right? What would another 7% facing exactly the same circumstances as that 1% do upon the departure of the 1%. What would the retail sector do? And maybe the finance banking and insurance sector would be all fired up to invest that little bit more once 8% of the economy was openly in the palliative care ward, yes? And those global banks funding our ostentatious addiction to real estate, they would be just itching to provide more funds to a banking sector 60% exposed to mortgages when 8% of the economy was looking at a cactus enema, wouldn’t they? Especially once they factored in the government support (equal to a couple of ratings notches) and its return to surplus in a plausible timeframe mantra balanced against some additional outlays for a sector in its death throes.

    Maybe Bernard simply doesn’t get economics.

    There’s more risk of policy-makers and politicians talking us into recession than there is of the automotive sector’s closure pushing us into one.

    Well those policy makers and politicians (both sides now) have their downsides but both have looked over the precipice at carving outlays and reached basically the same conclusion – they don’t want a recession on their watch, and they don’t have much to work with in terms of fending one off apart from sending Glenn Stevens out to jawbone the AUD lower and hope like buggery there aren’t any black swans in the macro anytime soon.

    Bandt and others, like departing Fairfax economics writer Tim Colebatch and even Robert Gottliebsen (who yesterday predicted “five tidal waves of unemployment”) are reflecting a 1980s mentality. Back then, vehicle manufacturing by itself provided nearly 2 per cent of all Australian jobs in a huge manufacturing sector that employed 17 per cent of all workers. Back then, vehicle manufacturing employed not much less than half of the entire professional services workforce. Now, it employs less than 10 per cent of that sector.

    No idea about Bandt and Gotti but Colebatch was right on the money. Sure manufacturing is smaller now than the 1980s – but that professional services workforce he is on about; is that too either globally exposed and taking a creaming (think education, medical services, business sevices etc) or inwardly focussed and reliant on some other sector of the economy making dough in order for it to live as a succubus (health, aged care, insurance, financial services, all forms of government, real estate [dare we say it] etc)? and what happens to that professional services workforce if yet another part of the economy goes to the wall? It booms (and takes in more employees and pays more taxes)?

    And in any event, looming unemployment is no reason to avoid hard decisions. Unemployment was 9.5 per cent and heading up when Bob Hawke announced his industry statement of March 1991 that slashed tariffs, including for motor vehicles (which were at 35 per cent). At that point, around one in seven Australian workers were employed in manufacturing.

    I’m pretty sure Bernard would be well aware that in 1991 the Australian economy had had 8 years of ALP (80s variant) economic restructuring buttressing its global competitive position, and that John Button had spent a fair amount of time getting the message through to the automaking sector that they were living on borrowed time sans change.

    If unemployment at below 6 per cent isn’t a good time to take another step in that direction, then when is?

    If looking off the edge of a mining capex cliff with your private parts in hock and a profoundly flabby external facing sector wearing a 25% AUD overvaluation, as the government needs to return to surplus to prevent a financial sector meltdown is a good time to take that step then when isn’t?

    Speaking of tariffs, if GM and Toyota do decide to pull out, then there will be no further point in maintaining the existing 5 per cent tariff on imported vehicles or the punitive tariffs on second-hand imports (subject to suitably stringent safety standards).

    The removal will be a boost for Australia’s automotive retail sector, which employs nearly 70,000 people, as well as cutting the price of vehicles for all Australians.

    So all those free trade agreements exchanging 5% tariffs on auto-manufactures for a reduction over 15 years of agricultural tariffs of 150% or more can be evened up a tad? And of course those international carmakers, once freed from domestic competition, they would be itching to hand over that 5% wouldn’t they? There wouldn’t be a touch of Apple or Microsoft about them in holding off on gouging Australian consumers, no sirree! The retail sector? You mean the same retail sector handling the in hock to their eyeballs consumers with such exuberant sentiment based on job security that they are begging for Uncle Joe to slap a tariff on web based purchases? Give me a break, Bernard, did you think about that before you wrote it? Do you do moonlight work for the motor leasing industry on fending off governments looking to end taxpayer funded lurks for the 1%ers?

    The decision point comes as the US Treasury sold the last of its US$50 billion in shares in General Motors bought in a bailout during the financial crisis. “All three US automakers are profitable, competitive, and growing,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said.

    One of the reasons they’re profitable is that governments around the world insist on throwing money at them for the privilege of making cars in their countries. It’s an obsession that Australia has no need to continue.

    Just for your information Bernard the reason why even the Republicans (and subsequently Obama) bailed out the automakers in the first place – to enable them to restructure – was that the mooted bankruptcy of GM, Ford and Chrysler in late 2008 was tipped (and the tip was accepted) to lead to profound economic stagnation in key areas of the US. There has since been 80 Billion USD spent on the sector – not including the cash for clunkers program (data from US Treasury here http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/financial-stability/TARP-Programs/automotive-programs/Pages/default.aspx)

    Time to put the brakes on economic illiterates masquerading as economics opinion leaders.

    • Gunna

      “And of course those international carmakers, once freed from domestic competition, they would be itching to hand over that 5% wouldn’t they? There wouldn’t be a touch of Apple or Microsoft about them in holding off on gouging Australian consumers, no sirree! The retail sector? ”

      This is a strawman, the 5% tariff is not and never has been the issue with high car prices.

      Why have you chosen to ignore the effects of the parallel import ban and LCT which are the biggest behind the border barriers keeping import prices high.

      The unarguable evidence from across the Tasman is that car prices will fall to world levels if these are abolished and addressed quickly.

      Are you advocating policies which have turned expensive positional goods into even more exclusive positional goods.

      • Sorry but the evidence from across the Tasman doesn’t support the contention that the the paralel import restrictions have any significant impact on non-luxury car prices.

        E.g. Check out the RRP of comparable vehicles like the Toyota Corolla or Mazda3 in Australia and New Zealand:

        http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/new-cars/toyota/corolla/hatchback/nzvtoyo2013aeay.htm

        http://www.toyota.com.au/corolla/prices

        I would submit the sense that NZ had cheap cars was mainly ingrained when the Aussie was trading at historical highs vs the Kiwi (peaked at 1.37 vs an average since float of probably 1.15, currently 1.10).

        As to the LCT and duty together they are forecast to raise c$1.5bn in FY14 (LCT = $460m, duty =$1020m).

        Any cuts to these taxes has to be funded elsewhere or else Hockey’s $500bn debt gets that little bit scarier.

        http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/bp1/html/bp1_bst5-04.htm

        The small size of the LCT revenue by the way shows how much of a non-issue this is to the average person. ie. Despite being 6.6x as high a tax (33% vs 5%) it raises less than half as much money. Given all cars from Thailand are duty free that comparison even understates how much of a first world problem the LCT is.

    • Great addition to the discussion Gunna. I have been struggling to make my mind up on this one and this might have just won me over.

      On one hand the foreign owned operations are just hermetically sealed offshore operations due to the technology, and having spent some time with those involved in leveraging the government subsidies and planing the cross-border pricing mechanisms i’m pretty cynical about large corporates leveraging for taxpayer funding.

      But the fact you raise is right, the US taxpayer has thrown a ton of money at this as well, and so perhaps there was an alternative way to keep the industry and accept that is just one of those subsidy things. (Geez its not like there aren’t bigger more destructive subsidies we could belt first. CGT? Neg Gearing? Super?)

      One of the issues i have with the sector is well summarised here however:

      http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/guest/Michael-Lombardi-131211-Auto-Sales.php

      The post GFC auto sector has been running on cheap debt fuel to generate sales like nobodies business, this does not look sustainable to me.

  7. There are huge national security implications if the car industry is gone from Australia. However, the current subsidy regime isn’t working, and Abbott’s government has a chance to fix it once and for all.

    National security is not just about ‘tanks and missiles’. Most of Australia’s population and wealth resides in the cities, and feeding the cities requires food to be transported from the countryside. Australia used to be fuel sufficient, but the increase in population the closure of the oil refineries made us dependent on refined oil import. A prolonged disruption in fuel supply import will be catastrophic for Australia as it will disrupt the ability to bring food to the city.

    Oil tankers are easy target for pirates, and one was recently ‘hijacked’ it’s way to Singapore in he Indian ocean a few month earlier. If any of the SE Asian countries become a failed state, it will become an ideal operating base for pirates. Indonesia is the biggest strategic threat to Australia not become it may invade us, but because it may disintegrate.

    In the event of a prolonged oil supply disruption, the concentration of wealth in the city means most of the fuel will be consumed there while the countryside become decimated. What follows is rationing,fuel riots, and social disintegration. Australia have an abundance of gas, coal, and have the ability to produce bio fuel. Unfortunately, most of our transportation doesn’t use them.

    Our former PM understands the issue. John Howard didn’t introduce the 10% alcohol mandate purely as a bribe to QLD. When Rudd announced his bailout for Holden during GFC, part of the condition is to produce ‘hybrid’ or electric vehicles. That unfortunately didn’t come through as foreign car manufacturers have their own agenda.

    What Australia need, for its food security and social cohesion, is a local car maker producing cars which runs gas/electric/biofuel and can survive the harsh outback. The number of cars produced doesn’t have to be huge, it is an insurance policy. Instead of spending more on bribing Holden, the 500 million dollars can be used for that purpose.

    Whether the Abbott government will seize the opportunity is another matter all together.

  8. GM have done the right thing and given us 4yrs notice on 2900 jobs impacted.

    Let’s get on with the transition and support our competitive and viable manufacturers.

    The PC boys and girls will have to start rewriting that report. Maybe look at removing the parallel import ban and the LCT.
    Should make for interesting reading.

    • I sincerely hope you’re right Patrician. What I see over time is an evisceration of manufacturing, until we all have Chinese working conditions. I see the transfer of wealth offshore by dividends and interest, and shareholders equity and a total trashing of our trade-able goods sector, as the local industries cannot compete with offshore firms that have built up their economies of scale behind tariff and non-tariff barriers together with manipulated currencies. We are losing the mecantilist war on a daily basis.

  9. You seriously couldn’t make up this government if you tried.

    A day after Truss wrote to Holden demanding:

    “An immediate clarification of GM Holden’s future plans is needed to end the uncertainty for Holden’s workforce, its suppliers and the people of Australia”,

    Macfarlane is now saying how disappointed he is that Holden didn’t give the government more time to complete the PC report.

    Government chaos indeed. http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/12/afr-government-chaos-has-spread-to-holden/

    • No. Not chaos. The decision was made in Detroit long ago. No government could’ve saved Holden – Holden did not want to be saved.

      • You know very well AB’s talking about the “communications mismatches” (as you might put it) of the new ministers dying for media attention and ready to spout off at cross purposes to each other and Australia’s interests, not the decision made in Detroit.

      • I know, no offence intended. Hopefully an ironic comment pointing at the “success” of what was once Motown, and what could be the future of a deindustrialised Australia.

      • @migtronix – Exactly!

        I don’t doubt 3d1k’s point about the decision being made long ago but he’s very adept at answering a question that wasn’t asked.

      • Oh go away you pathetic Liberal Party shill. Do you have anything to contribute apart from propaganda? I can get that at The Australian!

      • Fitzroy: that was meant for 3d1ks comment not yours, Adelaide doesn’t much music but at least there’s plenty of wine!

      • You are a disgrace mate. How about you actually let the facts guide your thinking rather than immediately jump to the defence of the indefensible.

        This Government reversed the well deserved axing of FBT benefits and instead cut subsidies to local manufacturers instead. Obviously when you take away subsidies going only to local manufacturers to fund subsidies going overwhlemingly to imported vehicle manufacturers you make the manufacturing of vehicles in Australia less attractive.

        Holden had committed under Gillard to stay for another 10 years. Obviously when the coaltion pulled $500m of subsidies the industry had been promised GM felt no compulsion to be bound by their informal agreement with the previous Government.

    • Fellas. Wake up. The communication divergence clearly part of the plan.

      The responsible Minister seen to be exploring all options. The others calling GMs bluff. Entirely correct.

      They knew GM was going. And there was nothing they could do. Decision made on the other side of the world.

      • If this was a plan, I’d wouldn’t like to see some things they haven’t planned.

        They’ve managed to look stupid, confused and insensitive all at the same time.

      • Call me old fashioned but if Tony/LNP knew GM was leaving (I don’t doubt it) I would have been a lot more impressed with him traveling to the plant and talking with the workers and Australia abouts their futures and ours, before the announcement and if that went against corporate protocol boo-fing-hoo.

        This “divergence plan” doesn’t impress me very much.

  10. Just wondering if MB and fellow commentators could put together a “Roll Call” of manufacturers/engineers that have pulled up stumps and are now manufacturing overseas or like Holden and Ford,they intend to, or have just disappeared altogether
    I’ll make a start with the easy to remember examples.
    Holden
    Ford
    Electrolux Orange
    Mitsubishi
    Kirby’s Engineering Sydney
    Hills industries
    Victa mowers
    Rover mowers
    Caroma dorf
    Clark Stainless Steel Sinks
    BHP ColorBond products

    • How far back do you want to go?

      Textiles?

      HMV, Rank Arena, AWA, PYE, Phillips?

      Leyland

      Chrysler

      Considerable defence trade capacity

      Sunbeam

      TRW car components

      Nippard car components

      Other car component suppliers

      Countless small & large toolmaking & engineering shops

      Cable Makers Australia?

      Email Westinghouse

      My list would be much larger – but there was just too many to remember!

      • Thanks Nudge, let’s say we go back to 1980, it would be a very long list and I reckon that the majority of them would be in the 1998-2013 years.
        But LJ Hooker and Raine & Horne are still here :))

    • interested party

      SC, I will stick my neck out here and say that any industry that burns oil or depends on oil is in danger of being added to you list. Life has gotten exponentially more expensive and cannot continue at this rate so your list will grow I predict.

  11. China, look!
    These idiots can’t keep a plane in the sky, put a car on the road or a FHB in a house.
    Plus none of them have guns!
    Chi-stralia is yours for the taking.

  12. So Ford and GM are closing down, Toyota in all likely hood will follow, other manufacturers are shifting operations overseas, service based companies are offshoring backoffice jobs as quick as can be to Asia, construction is seems unreactive, yet we are still running at record immigration levels. Can someone please explain that to me?

    • Population pyramid scheme 😉

      As long as they have some cash, and can buy property and spend on retail, we’re happy – for a time….then get the next ones in! 😉