Manufacturing News

Top Gear for top Australian cars

Top Gear presenter James May has pledged his allegiance to the struggling Australian car manufacturing industry.

May told Australia shouldn’t “write off” its car-making abilities, saying he is a fan of the V8 Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.

"It would be truly sad [if it were to die]," he said.

"Human kind's lot is only ultimately improved by manufacturing. We couldn't even become farmers until we made some tools. It's important", May said.

Pointing to the UK’s car industry successfully clawing its way back after decades in decline, May said Australians should not give up hope of recovery.

"I wouldn't write it off forever, it might be a temporary hiatus," he said.

"I think it will come back.

"You’ve probably been through the same thing we’ve been through in the last 20 to 30 years believing that industry can fade out and we can replace it with services, and financial this, that and the other.

"But then we gradually started to realise, hang on, no, that by itself isn’t good enough. And now some manufacturing is taking off again in Britain. We've become good at making satellites; we've got some quite good electronic manufacturers."

Local car production levels are at their lowest since 1957, despite new car sales reaching record highs.

The industry continues to falter as it attempts to compete with cheaper imports.

Manufacturers’ Monthly has been following the recent challenges the car manufacturing industry has encountered with car parts manufacturer Autodom going into voluntary receivership last week and Holden cutting 170 jobs from its Cruze manufacturing line.

However, this doesn’t equal complete gloom and doom for the entire manufacturing industry, with massive opportunities across food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and high tech manufacturing still to be realised.

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