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by Tim Beissmann

Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott says Australia’s remaining car makers will need to increase their export volumes if they plan to secure further funding from his new government.

Addressing journalists at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Abbott insisted the Coalition Government would “stick with the position” it took to the election, which is set to include cutting $500 million in industry assistance to 2015 compared with the promises of the ousted Labor Government.

“There will continue to be a high level of assistance to the motor industry but we expect the motor industry in return for that high level of assistance to provide us with a reasonable indication of how it is going to increase volumes, particularly increase export volumes,” Abbott said.

Toyota is Australia’s largest automotive exporter. The Altona-based car maker’s most recent annual report revealed it exported 70 per cent of the 99,441 Aurion, Camry and Camry Hybrid vehicles it produced in the 2012-2013 financial year ending March 31.

The Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition,Budget Reply Speech Parliament House Canberra.

Abbott said the government wanted Australia’s car automotive industry to have a “long-term viable future”, but said it would not “live from hand to mouth” under his leadership as it has in the past.

“I accept that government has a role in bringing this about but I also think the industry has a role of bringing this about and I am looking forward to further discussion.”

Both Holden and Toyota are preparing their pitches for future multi-million dollar co-investment deals with the government. Holden, which in July was reportedly seeking an extra $265 million to shore up the future of its local operations, will meet with the government before the end of the year to finalise its plans.

Abbott yesterday appointed Ian MacFarlane to the role of Industry Minister, a post the Queensland-based politician held previously in John Howard’s government.