Australian’s buy cars, lots of them. 95,000 per month. Australian’s own and buy cars in sufficient numbers to support an Australian motor vehicle manufacturing industry so why do
manufacturers of cars in Australia continue to fail when other countries car industries seem to do well.
One way of looking at it is to say that
GMH will only stay until they ultimately fail, larger and more frequent subsidies will be demanded as GM-USA structures itself to survive internationally by making use of their multi-national resources. At some point it will become too costly and government will say no.
The Australian Government needs to give GMH an exit strategy.
Another is to say
The Australian Government has no car plan. It has been unable or unwilling to develop a plan for Australia which will see an Australian car manufacturer competing. It has been unable to keep up with all of the contemporary pressures on such a global industry and what it has failed to do, the car industry must do for itself. The tax re-distribution to GMH in order to keeps its doors open is a reasonable price.
At some point it will become too costly and government will say no.
The Australian Government needs to give GMH an exit strategy.
Whichever way it is looked at things need to change. There needs to be a plan that looks further than the next election.
Australia can manufacture things. It leads in areas of intellectual, technological production and
innovation. What if those skills were turned to car manufacturing? Australia can make cars, it
seems to have difficulty competing economically.
Toyota in Victoria provide a product that people want, and buy. Why does Holden, the American General Motors branch in Australia, not? They just don’t meet the market? They must be making
what people don’t want. They just produce a car as part of their American system and tell the market that’s it?
The Australian Car needs to connect with purchasers, workers need to connect with the product. A sense of pride needs restoring in the product makers and the product purchasers. GM will continue to keep holding their hands out and to conduct their Australian business with reliance on
subsidy. Or to be less emotive, Tax breaks and redistribution to take into account their disadvantage of working in the Australian political environment which has no plan to otherwise ensure their longevity. Their position is that subsidy/tax distribution from the government is an essential part of contemporary vehicle manufacturing. They assert that this is the way the car business runs. It is part of their bottom line. When they look at options of what to do in Australia they look to see if there is an overlap with what they do elsewhere and cheaper for GM and balance that against the subsidy/breaks sought here.
Why produce their Opel in Australia when it can be done by another subsidiary cheaper?
The more expensive, less efficient parts of their business can be done with government breaks and subsidies in Australia. They are not permitting the Australian Holden to compete internationally. The middle east market is serviced by Opel. That is GM Germany, not GM Australia.
In Australia smaller, boutique motor vehicles with high quality, such as BMW and Volvo are seen as a cut above Holden. Toyota is seen as more reliable. Yet so many of the same component parts
are used in these vehicles. They are just assembled differently. There are only two producers of window winders in the world. GMH uses the one made in France.
With so many internationalized car components why do some manufacturers put them together in a way that is seen as high quality and reliable but GMH does not? The American’s who come to enjoy their time in Australia and preside over GM here for a while have not got their priorities for Holden high enough up the list.
Such laissez- faire attitudes to priorities and competitiveness with reliance on government subsidy to even function has flowed to the shop floor. Holden workers, “have a go”, but they are not particularly fussy. Why is it important to make it so well? If there is to be a “Holden Australia”,
it needs great leadership that can look after its workers’ interests, motivate them to be the best every day, and look after Australia’s interests in a competitive world.
It happened in Chrysler when it was resurrected and rebuilt by just such a great leader..
Great leadership is what is needed. Ownership needs to change. Staff needs to know – “This is now Australian” .
“Holden will be the best car ever produced.”
Sales need to be cemented.
Don’t change Holden. Get rid of GM, is one option. After all an Australian, “The Mr.Holden” started the whole thing. “Holden and Frost” of Adelaide. Cement sales first then gain market share and export as Australian Holdens. Australian Holden’s could compete, not being held back as part of the GM America strategy.
What if Australian intellectual capacity and innovation in technology was brought to bear on creating an Australian vehicle that is what people want. It could be a world beater. It has been done in other countries, including European countries with high wages. BMW, Volvo.
Why not in Australia.
Instead of being burdened by what is dictated from America, in what is to them a backwater, Australian’s could do what they can still sometimes do best.
New ideas, new technology, new methods and new ways of doing things.
This intellectual property would belong to Australia. With more Australian product innovation, international sources could still be drawn on to supplement the Australian Industry but instead of being dictated to by GMH as to what fits in to their American internationalized system and having to fit to their imposed design and imported tooling the whole world’s best practice becomes an option for Australia’s Holden.
The factory and rolling stock that could be Holden Australia is already here, being maintained by Australian Government subsidy. If it stops rolling that will be the end of it. If Australia wants to have a Holden it cannot afford to let GMH shut the plant down and denude the resource because it could never afford to start from greenfields. Mitsubishi left a scorched earth factory for that very reason.
One way would be to achieve an Australian shareholding in GM. GM may well see a share purchase by Australia as of benefit to them. It is a vote of confidence and assured support.
More secure for them than persistent application to changing governments for ongoing, but uncertain support packages.
No more subsidy without shares for Australia. Australia needs the controlling share. Sooner rather than too late.
Taxpayers are supporting GM. Taxpayers should own it. What about a public company.
The subsidy should create that and take GMH shares.
Australian’s could buy shares in the company, Make it Australian. Australian Holden workers
could be given great leadership and once again take pride.
GMH will only stay until they ultimately fail, larger and more frequent subsidies will be demanded as GM USA structure themselves to survive internationally and make use of their international resources. GM Holden is only maintained by them for the low subsidized end of their regime. At some point it will be too hard and too costly to subsidize and government will say no. GMH will then clean out the tools and machinery, take their bat and ball and go home. It will be too late.
The Australian Government needs to give GMH a succession strategy, perhaps an exit strategy.
Let’s strike a deal for succession now. Make the next subsidy a down payment.