Upcoming election to have big effect on auto makers

Australia's three car manufacturers and 150 component suppliers will be strongly affected by federal politics in the coming year.

Australia's three car manufacturers and 150 component suppliers will be strongly affected by federal politics in the coming year.

The Australian Financial Review comments that the election, to be held next year, will have a significant impact on whether or not auto manufacturers continue to operate in this country.

It’s been reported that Ford, the third-biggest car maker in the country, is expected by components makers to cease its Australian operations in 2016. Last month its president Bob Graziano suggested that Ford was preparing to stop manufacturing in Australia.

Overall, production was down to 219,000 vehicles last year from 408,000 in 2004, the AFR points out, with Toyota – the Australian market leader for new cars – currently exporting Aussie-made cars mainly to the Middle East and selling mostly imported cars here. Holden’s next generation Commodore is expected to be its last.

All the car makers manufacturing here exist in one of the most competitive markets in the world, with the high dollar and lowered tariffs making things difficult.

The federal opposition has expressed reservations about the $3.4 billion Automotive Transformation Sceme, and has pledged to cut half a billion dollars from it if it wins the election, which it is currently positioned to do.