Steane Klose | Dec 15, 2008

If you aren’t directly affected, it can be difficult to imagine what is lost when a plant like Mitsubishi’s in Tonsley Park is closed down for good. Recognising the end of an era, the History Trust of South Australia commissioned a film maker and oral historian to capture on film the assembly line in operation, and the thoughts of some of the Mitsubishi workers.

The result is a film entitled ‘Making Cars @ Tonsley Park’, and it arrives at a time when the world automotive industry is entering a period of upheaval, with our remaining local manufacturers facing unknown futures of their own. The Mitsubishi story is an interesting one, and the views held by the workers interviewed are just as pertinent now, eight months later, to the likes of Ford and Holden.

“The motor manufacturing industry has been a vital part of the South Australian economy since the 1950s. Entire families have worked in it. Their stories are an important part of the state’s history and we are pleased to have been able to work with Mitsubishi to ensure that they will be preserved,” said History Trust Chief Executive Margaret Anderson

In 2009, the film, along with extracts from the oral history interviews, will feature in exhibitions at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, alongside the second to last Mitsubishi 380. In the meantime you can check out the two part video below.

If some home grown automotive history is of interest, then we recommend dropping by the automotive section of the History Trust’s website, at

Making Cars @ Tonsley Park - The Mitsubishi Story (Pt.1)

Making Cars @ Tonsley Park - The Mitsubishi Story (Pt.2)

[Source: The History Trust Of South Australia]

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