Steane Klose | Feb 14, 2008

Following the recent announcement by Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited that they are ceasing manufacture of the 380 sedan in Australia and in the face of continually falling locally made large car sales, comes the announcement that the Australian Federal Government will undertake a major review of Australia's automotive manufacturing industry.

The move has been welcomed by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), who noted that the auto industry makes a very significant contribution to the national economy. Over the last five years, Australian car makers have invested in excess of $4.5 billion to develop and build new models.

"It is essential this review leads to a renewed policy framework, capable of underpinning the future investment required for on-going model development in Australia," FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

McKellar also noted that the local auto industry accounts for more than $700 million in R&D spending annually, and last year produced around 330,000 cars, 140,000 of which were exported. He conceded that the industry has seen significant change to the competitive environment since the last Federal Government review in 2002.

"It is timely for the Australian Government to undertake this review. It is essential that we keep pace with the rapid change affecting the manufacturing sector. We are confident the process outlined for the review will be rigorous. It will provide an opportunity for the industry to clearly put forward its vision for the future," said McKellar

The review is expected to be broad-ranging, addressing all competitive challenges facing automotive manufacturing in Australia.

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