Encourage Holden, Toyota and Ford to share factories: Clive Palmer

Billionaire mining entrepreneur and leader of Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, has said that the three remaining Australian car makers should be encouraged to make cars out of the one factory.

Palmer made the comments at a dinner party for his PUP, saying that scale advantages would make car companies more competitive.

"You've got to start from somewhere and if you brought the manufacturers together we'd solve that problem," said Palmer, according to News Limited.

Similar suggestions were made in April this year by Mark Fusco, managing director of consultancy Manufacturing Focus, who said that there were successful examples of automotive factories successfully pooling their resources in Holland and the United States.

"Having studied a lot of global car markets, our market is so small they're never going to have a dominant volume here," he told The Australian.

At the time spokespeople for Holden, Ford and Toyota wouldn't rule it out, said it would be difficult and didn't respond respectively when asked about sharing facilities.

Palmer said that a decision between South Australia or Victoria – the two Australian states with major automotive manufacturing facilities – about where a factory would be hosted would have to be based on the national interest.

The state of the Australian automotive industry is a hot political issue, with SA manufacturing minister Tom Kenyon suggesting earlier this week that Holden – currently in negotiations with workers over the need to reduce costs to survive – could leave Australia by next year.  Ford announced in May that it would stop manufacturing cars in Australia in 2016.

 

Image: AAP