PM’s adviser urgers Aussie carmakers to look overseas

The local arms of Ford, General Motors and Toyota have been warned by a Prime Minister’s manufacturing taskforce member to start shifting their focus from manufacturing cars for the Australian market and move towards becoming part suppliers to the global automotive industry.

Roy Green stated that without significant technological advances in car design, such as successful electric cars, the industry would be unable to survive if it continued to focus on building cars for Australians.

Green told a manufacturing conference in Sydney that “the time has come for all of these manufacturers, and General Motors is already moving in this direction, to integrate with global car production.”

“It is the only way we are going to be able to retain any car-making capability in Australia at all,” Green said.

Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Simon Cowan said the federal government’s $34 million assistance package for Ford in January was a political fix which extended the company’s local manufacturing by two years.

“The most obvious question is what happens at the end of two years,” Cowan said, according to the AFR. “I don't think there is an answer there.”

Earlier this week, the federal government and auto manufacturers took the AFR to court to court in an attempt to suppress details relating to car industry subsidies.