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  1. #21
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    lots of people in Africa but you don't see many autoplants.

    Aussie labor isn't particularly cheap, and add in the logistic problems
    it's just really hard to compete in the world market.
    China is probably kicking ass on the spares market just like they are doing here

  2. #22
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    Just a thought but "government" hasn't been named as the cause. Is "industry" more organized than in the USA? By "organized" I mean does industrial leaders and perhaps unions get togther to discuss what looks best to work for with changing demands?

    The difference between good governments and bad ones is that the good ones try and look ahead and figure out how to achieve progress. The bad ones just continually keep trying to plug holes.

    Look at the countries that are doing well and those that aren't. How involved is the government in those countries?

  3. #23
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    The car industry here has been moderately subsidised for many years. This got them to the stage where this could just compete but never big volumes. Over the last decade the Aussie dollar has been very strong due to the mining boom and this has made them less profitable. Along comes a conservative government who does not like subsidising business (all free market types) and they started making some threats of removing the subsidies unless the car makers committed to various demands. After a very short period all 3 car makers (Holden/GM, Ford and Toyota) all said they would close production in Australia. The government did not care one bit. I think they thought great that's a lot of money we will be saving. Unfortunately the few thousand car workers will only be the tip of the iceberg as all the companies that feed into and off of the car companies also fold. Not to mention the loss of skilled workers and manufacturing know how

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by extropic View Post
    Very sad.



    On the other hand, I've read many comments that used machine tools are scarce and dear down under.
    Not really. Modern CNC machines still seem to get high prices, but manual machines sell for peanuts. The scrap people have scrapped large numbers of machines the past ten years.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon B. Clarke View Post
    Isn't all this what many countries have experienced? What is being done to earn money changes over time. I don't believe Australia is getting poorer.

    Australia - Economic forecast summary (June 217) - OECD

    OTOH when I look at this next link then the past 3 to 4 years haven't been good.
    We have the highest household debt to GDP in the world, I believe Denmark is now second. Also I do not think GDP is a good measure of how a country is going. For example GDP of various nations would have gone through the roof during the early stages of WW2. GDP does not differentiate between positive spending and negative spending, it is just spending.

    We have many problems and to be honest I can not see how the current system can continue long term.

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  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    lots of people in Africa but you don't see many autoplants.

    Aussie labor isn't particularly cheap, and add in the logistic problems
    it's just really hard to compete in the world market.
    China is probably kicking ass on the spares market just like they are doing here
    Actually, if you drive the roads in Southern California, you probably see a lot of African built cars.
    The Mercedes plant in East London, South Africa makes a fair amount of the C series Mercedes sold in America, and the BMW plant in South Africa makes a big percentage of the 3 series BMW' that are sold here as well.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    Actually, if you drive the roads in Southern California, you probably see a lot of African built cars.
    The Mercedes plant in East London, South Africa makes a fair amount of the C series Mercedes sold in America, and the BMW plant in South Africa makes a big percentage of the 3 series BMW' that are sold here as well.
    makes scene low labor costs good location to ship to multiple markets 2 of the things lacking
    for the Aussie plants

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
    The car industry here has been moderately subsidised for many years. This got them to the stage where this could just compete but never big volumes. Over the last decade the Aussie dollar has been very strong due to the mining boom and this has made them less profitable. Along comes a conservative government who does not like subsidising business (all free market types) and they started making some threats of removing the subsidies unless the car makers committed to various demands. After a very short period all 3 car makers (Holden/GM, Ford and Toyota) all said they would close production in Australia. The government did not care one bit. I think they thought great that's a lot of money we will be saving. Unfortunately the few thousand car workers will only be the tip of the iceberg as all the companies that feed into and off of the car companies also fold. Not to mention the loss of skilled workers and manufacturing know how
    All that is true. However let's not go overboard in blaming the conservative side of government. It was a Labor govt that first slashed tariffs & quotas in the 1970's followed by another Labor govt that attempted to force rationalisation on the car industry in the 1980's.

    Now we have a Labor State Govt in South Australia that has achieved the dubious distinction of forcing power prices to be second highest in the First World while simultaneously destroying any semblance of reliability of supply. Guess where a lot of manufacturing *used* to be?

    Who in their right mind would want to attempt to run a manufacturing industry when the power might go off with little to no warning? That's 3rd World crap. I lived & worked in a few 3rd World countries, at least they had an excuse.

    We have none.

    So cry me a river about the companies going out of business. Actions have consequences. I don't care.

    At least we have 'clean green' hydro power in Tasmania. The dirty little secret is, we wouldn't be allowed to build a single dam these days because someone would find something that was endangered.

    PDW

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    Aussie-built cars were a big deal in NZ and they will be missed. For years everyone thought you needed a big rear wheel drive car to pull your boat, caravan, trailer etc, but now we are awash with SUV's.

    Are the engine plants still going to carry on? I seem to recall GM (or Ford?) were producing engines for other parts of the world. Maybe some of the plants can carry on making parts for export?

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  12. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    makes scene low labor costs good location to ship to multiple markets 2 of the things lacking
    for the Aussie plants

    Shipping costs are pretty insignificant these days. It is mostly cost of doing business and labour costs.

    Going by media interviews of now unemployed workers, they said they would not be able to find another job at the same pay rate for the skills they have, so they must have been well paid.

    Like PDW I would not give two hoots about car manufacturing heading off overseas if this country was leading the world powering ahead in technological advances, but in that field we are going backwards.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...abad0e4c135dda

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  14. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    Actually, if you drive the roads in Southern California, you probably see a lot of African built cars.
    The Mercedes plant in East London, South Africa makes a fair amount of the C series Mercedes sold in America, and the BMW plant in South Africa makes a big percentage of the 3 series BMW' that are sold here as well.
    Yeah, East London and Port Elizabeth are the Hubs for automotive assembly over here. Merc and BMW have always had a pretty big manufacturing capacity here but VW probably the biggest. Their "polo" model I think is exclusively assembled here which goes under a different name in other countries... I drive a "cross polo" which is one of the models shown off in their showroom right next to the last old shape beetle that they sold, bought back, stripped down and fixed "as new".

    You are correct with the 3 series and C class. There are a lot of companies up here that supply various parts for assembly down there, some are even slowly starting to move some of their toolrooms and press shops closer to the coast. BMW still has a pretty big plant up here Pretoria side. Where I am, Alrode, there are loads of various automotive companies that supply these plants from skin panels all the way to the motors and braking systems... we actually have one across the road from us that I do work for.

    Lots of "trucks" as some of you may call it (bakkie over here) get manufactured as well as we have a big market for them. Toyota probably has the biggest share in that area with VW,Nissan and Mazda also in the mix.

    Automotive industry in South Africa - Wikipedia

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