We were pushed out of both ends of car market

The Stingers in action.
The Stingers in action.

Let me answer from a global perspective ” the starting point is that Australian-made cars are of good quality.

The rest of the story is not that good ” we have, globally, approximately 25 per cent over-capacity in the car industry. That pushes prices down.

And that favours producers who can produce cheaper by having large-scale factories and by using cheaper labour and more favourable exchange rates.

And one point here is that the crisis in Europe has kept the euro relatively low and labour costs are under pressure.

An advantage Australia cannot out-compete.

In addition, 10 years ago, we saw few German-made luxury cars.

Most V8s were Holdens.

Now we have many German-made luxury cars on the road.

And with those, a Holden cannot compete, neither from the point of design nor quality. Price is no advantage in this segment.

Plus, first the Japanese came in with good, reasonably priced cars, but now the Koreans outbid the Japanese. Korean cars are good and cheap.

In other words, we have lost the upper end and the lower end of the market.

And whatever is left over does not support local car manufacturing.

Much better to bet on our strong points and invest into those, like education, research, product development, build up to be a know-how intensive country.

Once our coal, iron ore, oil and gas is exploited, we will have to do that anyhow. So why not start now?



I READ with interest the letter in last week’s paper, Seek help, anxiety can be treated effectively, from Kate Carnell, the chief executive officer of Beyondblue.

As a seasoned member of Grow WA, and chairman of their branch program team, we also encourage people to seek help for their anxiety, which may include joining a Grow group to complement their professional treatment.

Grow groups have been meeting weekly for a two-hour working meeting for some 56 years in Australia and provide mutual help.

We have no fees or charges, but gratefully accept donations and we encourage people with any mental health issue to contact our office on 1800 558 268 to locate their nearest group.



Grow WA.