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08 December 2013

by Mike.B

If General Motors goes: Good Riddance

Back in the 30's when our government decided that Australia should have an automotive industry, it chose General Motors over Ford because GM's submission contained less government involvment and funding than that of Ford.

Today, GM is threatening to quit Australia if public funding is not forthcoming. PM Tony Abbott has all but ruled out that funding, along with QANTAS and Ford. I wonder if that decision is such a bad one.

Of course there are some immediate ramifications if GM does leave. Job losses in both GM itself, and the flow on into the automotive supply chain, which will create immediate pain for those people, families, and businesses. But! Does that not open opportunities which have never presented themselves before?

Back in the 30's when our government made its original decision, we didn't have a fully trained workforce that went from design to delivery. We do now.

At that time, our currency was pegged. International trade was left to the agri and livestock industries, both of which had ready and willing buyers.

We have moved on from that, we are now truly part of the international community. The AUD is open to the vagaries of the international market, and our government and business people have become familiar with those vagaries. The RBA is relishing in the challenge of reducing the value of the AUD to make us more competitive. One has to ask the question, why?

Across the board our manufacturing industry is all but gone. Where we once had the largest sheep flock in the world, and manufacturing that survived around that flock. We are now third or fourth on the list with no manufacturing. Asian and Italian interests come to buy our wool, process it, and sell it back to us.

Will we as a people, allow our government to secretly sign us up to 'free trade agreements' such as the TPP, which multinational companies are salivating at the thought. We recently saw the blocking of the takeover of our grain industry. It's a sign of things to come. We are literally selling the farm. Almost any government can can come to Australia and buy huge swathes of prime land. The government is party to this by allowing 'fracking' which further reduces the price of land, making it even more attractive to the internationals.

It's time for our government to start looking after our people's best interests, rather than those of internationals. It's time for our government to invest. Invest in OUR future.

The first Australian designed and produced automobile was 'commonly known' as the FX Holden, and there was a long waiting list for delivery. Not because of patriotism, but because it was a vehicle built in Australia for Australian conditions, and, because it was a 'good car'.

GMH today, is citing the fact that we are uncompetitive in a global market, and we need to build more and a cheaper product. And yet, we can look to Enzo Ferrari's business model. Ferrari build only 500 vehicles per year, have a waiting list of years, and have been stable inception.

Globalisation is not the be all and end all of trade. Make a product that people want and need, and the buyers will come. Australia has all the ingredients necessary to build vehicles. Free from a behometh in GM that is struggling world wide from its ineptitude, and own government policies.

I say tell them to get lost, we can do a better job on our own.

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