Mitsubishi plant closure “one more nail in the coffin” for Australian car manufacturing

The closure of the Mitsubishi Motors plant is one more nail in the coffin of the Australian assembly industry, says a leading car expert.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, believes that Ford & Holden will also stop manufacturing in Australia.

“Both Ford & General Motors are in serious trouble globally. Therefore, it seems inevitable that their Australian car assembly operations will be phased out.”

“The sad fact is, car manufacturing in Australia is only marginally profitable even in good times, and for many manufacturers the good times are over.”

“Car manufacturing these days is stampeding towards low-wage countries. China and India will swamp the world with cheap cars over the next few years, and any Western car plant that isn’t consistently profitable will simply go out of business.

“It might take ten years or it might happen in one year, but the chances are, it will happen.”

A closure by Ford, Holden and Mitsubishi would see Toyota as the sole volume manufacturer in Australia. Toyota is the most successful car manufacturer in the world and is under no pressure to cut back on its operations. However, the Dog & Lemon Guide noted:

“Car companies exist to make money. If they can make more money assembling cars in Thailand than Australia, then that’s what they’ll do. Their only loyalty is to their profits.”

Matthew-Wilson added:

“Please don’t shoot the messenger. I’m well aware of how many Australians rely on the car assembly industry for their jobs and I sincerely hope that we are wrong when we question the viability of Australian car manufacturing.

“What we are saying in the Dog & Lemon Guide is a common topic of discussion within the car industry. It’s just that few people are talking about it publicly because it’s too scary to contemplate.”

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