Trevor Collett | Aug 5, 2013

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has kicked off its federal election campaign by promising a further $200million in assistance for Australia’s struggling car industry.

Further to this, the ALP has also outlined plans to ensure that Commonwealth fleet buyers purchase Australian made cars, wherever possible.

This would provide the Australian car industry with a very welcome shot-in-the-arm - an additional 18,000 sales per year, according to ALP figures.

Speaking with ABC radio, care-taker Prime Minister Kevin Rudd outlined the importance of supporting the local car industry.

"I have said before that I do not believe manufacturing is an industry just for the past, it's an industry for the future," Mr Rudd said.

But the ALP has come under attack from the Coalition and others, with claims that the $200 million boost will not be enough to undo the sales damage caused by new fringe benefits tax (FBT) laws.

Federal Coalition leader, Tony Abbott, has promised to scrap the FBT changes if elected, but the Coalition is yet to announce an assistance package for Australian carmakers of its own.

The Australian-built Holden Commodore, Ute and Cruze models along with Toyota’s Camry and Aurion would all be likely to benefit from the ALP policy.

Ford’s locally built Falcon and Territory models would also benefit, but the new policy would be unlikely to reverse Ford’s decision to cease production in Australia in 2016.

Stay tuned to TMR for more proposed policies from the federal political parties, and other news leading up to the 2013 federal election.