Car industry needs stability and support to survive

Former Ford boss and current BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser said the federal government has to decide if it wants to keep the Australia’s car manufacturing industry or not.

The job losses in the automotive industry have led the government to set up a manufacturing taskforce to analyse if the industry could survive or not, reports the SMH.

The car industry employs 300,000 people but 85 per cent of vehicles bought each year are imported, Nasser said.
Nasser stated that the industry needed stability and long-term government support so it could plan for the long term.

He went on to say that when he was running Ford in Australia, he told the then Australian treasurer Paul Keating that he would invest as long as the government wanted a car industry and would support it.

Nasser said he believes that the industry requires a supply base, education system and technical capability.
The current situation involved abrupt self-analysis every two to three years, he added.

"Every two or three years some bright spark bureaucrat decides we need to look at the automotive plan again. You just can't run businesses that way," Nasser said.

Nasser explained that "It's important because it adds research and engineering and capability throughout the manufacturing and technical base of a country."

The Federal Government is providing a $5.4 billion package for the car industry to save jobs.

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