Manufacturing expert Professor Roy Green, from the University of Technology Sydney, commented on the pressures and opportunities faced by Australian businesses in a radio interview this morning.
Simplot Australia has advised employees that two of its plants are under threat of closure.
Manufacturers across the world rely on economies from the scale of production to drive down unit cost. This “mass production” approach, focused on efficiency and uniformity of product, is feasible when volumes of production are high enough for scale to be realised.
The depreciation in the dollar needs to be pushed along if Australia is to boost its competitiveness, avoid recession and make investment in industry more attractive, economist Ross Garnaut has said.
Trade minister Craig Emerson has said that Australia would continue to make cars, after Ford’s announcement last week that it would end local production in 2016.
Holden and Toyota have recommitted to manufacturing cars in Australia, with Holden suggesting that more government support could be necessary.
Nick Champion, the federal Labor MP for Wakefield, has called for a temporary 5-10 per cent tariff on imported cars to shield local automotive makers from the effects of the high Australian dollar.
The Australian dollar has dipped to slightly below parity with the US dollar and is expected to stay around that level for the time being.
Alcoa has requested a 12 per cent discount from its suppliers, explaining that conditions now are worse than during the Global Financial Crisis, with low aluminium prices and a persistently strong Australian dollar hurting the company.
Business groups have been described as giving last night’s federal budget a “cool” response, with the Australian Industry Group and others disappointed at its taxation measures.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions has said that the federal budget, to be delivered tonight, should invest in manufacturing and protect Australian jobs.
Manufacturers are urging treasurer Wayne Swan to disregard the budget being in deficit and offer relief in the form of a cut to the company tax rate.
The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index showed the sector continued to shrink in April, with low exports, slow activity in Victoria and high input costs featuring in the results.
Heather Ridout, a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia board and a former CEO of the Australian Industry Group, has said that Australia’s manufacturing sector has a long way to go to successfully adapt to the strong Australian dollar.
Will new Industry Participation rules ensure a manufacturing revival, or will they simply reinforce existing industry trends? Brent Balinski investigates.
Following comments made by ex-Ford CEO Jac Nasser last week that car manufacturing in Australia was in a terminal decline due to a lack of support, Bill Dix, who headed the car company from 1989-1992 has the sector will be gone by 2002.
The Mazda3 and increased overall competition are “slowly killing” car-making in Australia.
Alumina Ltd’s share price was up sharply on news that Alcoa, with whom Alumina are in a joint venture, saw a big jump in first quarter profits.
General Motors Holden has revealed that it has received $2.2 billion in federal government assistance over the last 12 years, which the company claims represents good value for money.
After a what was described as a “tentative” improvement in its results for February, the monthly Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) showed the industry continued to shrink in March.