The Write Direction: Going Global

IN both life and business it is a good idea to know where we are going.

From where I sit, it looks like our country is going global.

One of those indicators is the Australian motor vehicle industry, which sadly is no more.

Only a few years ago we had five major manufacturers building cars, namely General Motors Holden, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi was the old Chrysler and Valiant constructor and built Dodge, Jeep and DeSoto vehicles popular in the USA.

South Australia and Victoria hosted these industries and our Government even provided a new tax to help sponsor that production.

The prestige vehicle import premium was placed on all cars over a certain value in order to protect the jobs of motor industry construction workers which may be put at risk from lower priced imports.

Nowadays we don’t have any motor vehicle construction workers employed as that industry has moved offshore, the stated reason at that time being that mass produced vehicles would be lower cost and more easily available.

Isn’t that interesting?

Simple research shows virtually all vehicles available to us now are more expensive.

Even their supply is restricted as a means to create demand and force prices upwards.

Even worse, the tax on imported upper end vehicles still remains even though we don’t have any motor workers’ jobs that need protecting.

May our Government be overdosing on its habit to consume more tax revenue?

We have seen several attempts to build sports cars from small private operators who were priced out of the game due to their limited production numbers, but they were never protected.

Lightburn, the washing machine manufacturer in Adelaide, built the Zeta car and then went on to assemble Alfa Romeo vehicles which arrived in boxes from Italy in what is known as CKD form.

That enterprise also ended over time, a sad happening for the availability of quality cars constructed in Australia.

The Victa lawnmower, designed and built by one of my neighbors from Roseville in Sydney (Vic Richardson), is now an overseas-built product.

Even the Japanese quality motor tyre manufacturer in Australia, Bridgestone, has moved back offshore, as has Hills Hoists.

The majority of our vehicle fuel now comes from Singapore and the required amount to be stored onshore in Australia is well below the suggested amount in order to guarantee supply for a period of time in the event of disruptions caused by shipping, wars or unsettled political events overseas.

Somehow our political masters think this is progress because it passes the buck to someone else outside our control, so it is “their fault” when supply fails or war breaks out.

However, we will always be the loser when it comes to supply and price as we too go global.


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