Steane Klose | Oct 26, 2008

TMR is looking for your comments on the Australian car industry, and your views on its future.

It has now become faintly absurd, but how much has changed since the Bracks' Report into the Australian Motor Industry was delivered to the Rudd Government? Surely, any recommendations it contained must now have been overtaken by national and international events.

The 'goal posts' and 'playing field' for local automotive manufacturers - and the industry generally - have not just moved in the past two to three months, they've bolted right across town and out into the next county.

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Submissions to the Bracks' Review Panel closed May 14; the Report it produced was handed to the Government on 31 July. Then, the Australian new car market was on track for another one million sales; Ford had a CEO called Bill Osborne, and the G8 had arrived in the US to rave reviews. Any 'situational analysis' conducted then, would be barely relevant now.

That toxic barrel of bad loans, derivatives and credit default swaps had not yet exploded on world financial markets. (Back then, things were shaky, but we hadn't yet worked out that the real worth of US banking was about the same, or slightly less, than a boot-full of used Y-fronts). Back then, the global credit crisis had not fully emerged in all its skid-marked glory.

So, without putting too fine a point on it, are Holden, Ford and Toyota now stuffed? Should Australia be building cars, or is it time to give the game away (like we gave away textile manufacturing)? If we built smaller cars, would we sell more of them?

Tell us what you think: do the TMR poll on the front page, or comment below.

[poll id="10"]

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