Kevin Rudd’s $6.2 Billion Auto Industry Package

November 14, 2008 by
Filed under: Australian News, Australian Politics 

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced a $6.2 billion dollar package to support the Australian Car Industry. This was after foreign owned car manufacturers announced plans to shut down local production in the wake of the global financial crisis.

$500 million of this money will be set aside for a ‘Green’ car innovation fund, to produce environmentally friendly vehicles.

The intentions of this plan are certainly noble. Australia has a proud history of automotive production. The industry employs many people who hold a lot of valuable know-how.

These are the problems I see with the plan:

1. It’s a large amount of money and it may only temporarily defer the problem. Foreign manufacturers will milk the government funds, artificially boosting their profits, then shut down the factories when the money has been exhausted.

2. Australian automotive tariffs are set to fall from 10% to 5% making it harder for our local industry to remain viable in the presence of low cost German, Japanese and Korean imports. Would we be merely sustaining an uncompetitive local industry out of pride?

Here are some possible alternatives:

1. Assist Australian entrepreneurs in buying out the local arms of these manufacturing firms, to ensure that the industry is under Australian ownership and that profits remain in this country.

Perhaps a new Australian company can focus on producing low cost, energy efficient vehicles that would offer something unique and provide a competitive edge on the market.

2. Use the money to pay for redundancies for these workers and retraining to allow them to get job in other industries where their skills can be adapted, e.g. Agricultural technology, military vehicles

What are your thoughts? Your comments are most encouraged.

Comments

One Comment on Kevin Rudd’s $6.2 Billion Auto Industry Package

  1. Kwoff.com on Sat, 15th Nov 2008 12:59 am
  2. Kevin Rudd’s $6.2 Billion Auto Industry Package | Here\’s Trouble…

    An critique of Kevin Rudd\’s financial assistance package to keep the Australian auto industry afloat. Expresses concern that the package will only delay and not prevent the closure of the local industry and proposes alternative measures….

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