The above chart comes from Key Automotive Statistics from the The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.
With GM likely to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy before Christmas with the bailout package failing to pass the US Senate, and Chrysler and Ford not far behind it, how long now for the Australian Car Industry?
It’s getting so bad that even Toyota is starting to make cuts, be it primarily at the top, although reports from the States also indicate some production lines are stopping due to a backlog of inventory as well.
No amount of money from Rudd is going to save the Australian car industry now.
Ironically it may be our best export earner and best local innovator who may be the first to go. According to stats, the bulk of our export market is to the Middle East, with the bulk of those sales coming from Holden.
Maybe they might hold on to Holden even in bankruptcy, but don’t count on it. The chart above shows 3 years of losses leading into this year; the product might be good, but a couple of billion in exports doesn’t counter growing loses that are bound to be far worse this year with Australia slowly sliding into a recession (and we’re only not in one due to farm output).
Ford is the best placed of the US car makers going forward financially, but they still lag behind GM (Holden) locally, so the Ford plant will be at risk.
Toyota is easiest to swap out, after all Toyota makes Camry’s the world over, and the Aurion is just a Camry with a V6 engine and some different body work, not exactly hard to replace with an overseas plant.
My prediction: at least one manufacturer will quit Australia in the next 6 months, possibly sooner. If we have any car industry left by 2010, it will be either by miracle, or so much Government subsidy that each car could be given away for free.