Japanese car makers weighing up how to pass on free-trade agreement benefits
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Japanese car makers weighing up how to pass on free-trade agreement benefits

Australia’s leading Japanese car importers insist it’s too early to say exactly how the benefits of the countries’ newly announced free-trade agreement will be passed on to consumers. Included in the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) reached overnight by prime ministers Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe is the removal of the five per cent import tariff on new Japanese vehicles...


Abbott "optimistic" on Australia-Japan FTA to remove vehicle tariffs
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Abbott "optimistic" on Australia-Japan FTA to remove vehicle tariffs

Prime Minster Tony Abbott is hopeful of finalising an historic free-trade agreement with Japan today that could improve the value of more than 350,000 Japanese vehicles sold in Australia every year. Reaching the end of a week-long delegation in Japan, Abbott last night told ABC News the negotiation process had been “difficult”, but said he was “optimistic” of reaching an agreement...


Tesla, car makers' alliance pushing to legalise side cameras
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Tesla, car makers' alliance pushing to legalise side cameras

On the same day as US safety regulators set a 2018 deadline for the standard implementation of reverse-view cameras in new vehicles, Tesla Motors and the US automotive industry’s key lobby group filed a petition pushing for the right to replace external mirrors with side-mounted cameras...


Paris pollution-based car restrictions end; 3859 drivers fined
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Paris pollution-based car restrictions end; 3859 drivers fined

Car restrictions resulting from dangerously high pollution levels in Paris have ceased, with levels dropping back below safe limits. During the ban, which permitted only those with odd-numbered registration plates to use the roads from 5:30am Monday until midnight the same day, a reported total of 3859 motorists were fined 22 euro ($34) for driving when disallowed...


Prime Minister snubs Productivity Commission's pay-per-kilometre road tax proposal
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Prime Minister snubs Productivity Commission's pay-per-kilometre road tax proposal

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his government will not support a proposal by the Productivity Commission that encourages a rethink of the way motorists are taxed. The commission’s investigation into infrastructure funding identifies fuel excise as a source of revenue that requires an overhaul, and is pushing for state and territory governments to trial a system that taxes drivers for the kilometres they travel rather than the fuel they use...


Productivity Commission encourages government to end financial support of Australian automotive industry
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Productivity Commission encourages government to end financial support of Australian automotive industry

The Productivity Commission has encouraged the Federal Government to stop providing financial support to the Australian automotive industry. The Commission's intermediary position paper, released two months ahead of the final report due on March 31, contends “the policy rationales for specific assistance to automotive manufacturing are weak”, and insists “the community would benefit from the ending of assistance to automotive manufacturing”...


Scrap used vehicle import restrictions, urges Productivity Commission
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Scrap used vehicle import restrictions, urges Productivity Commission

The Productivity Commission has encouraged the Federal Government to remove barriers preventing the importation of used cars, claiming it will benefit consumers by increasing choice and lowering vehicle prices...


Secret remote vehicle stopping technology to end high-speed chases
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Secret remote vehicle stopping technology to end high-speed chases

A secret European Union project that would allow police to remotely turn off vehicle engines could make dangerous high-speed chases and road spikes a thing of the past. The UK's Telegraph newspaper reports a committee of senior EU police officers has devised a strategy dubbed 'Remote Stopping Vehicles' designed to give them the power to halt any vehicle in the name of public safety...


Holden exit "won't crash" South Australian economy, says Deloitte
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Holden exit "won't crash" South Australian economy, says Deloitte

The planned closure of Holden's manufacturing operations in 2017 will slow but "won't crash" South Australia's economy, according to a new economic report. Despite the local car maker's impending exit, Deloitte Access Economics' quarterly Business Outlook report predicts continued annual economic growth in the state of around one per cent for the next four years – about half that of the rest of the country...


Macfarlane to Toyota Australia workers: "very high chance" of closure without reforms
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Macfarlane to Toyota Australia workers: "very high chance" of closure without reforms

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane believes there's a "very high chance" Toyota will stop building cars in Australia if its employees do not accept revised workplace agreements. Macfarlane told ABC News today talks between the federal and Victorian governments in Melbourne this week had not delivered a plan to save the Altona-based car maker and the state’s automotive parts suppliers, but said the two agreed changes to “archaic” workplace arrangements were vital...


Industry minister dismisses SA premier's post-Holden plan as pre-election stunt
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Industry minister dismisses SA premier's post-Holden plan as pre-election stunt

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has dismissed South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill's post-Holden plan for the state as a pre-election stunt with no substance. Weatherill yesterday announced his rescue plan for workers displaced by Holden's decision to cease production by the end of 2017, proposing 14 initiatives targeted at re-skilling and re-employing workers and supporting the diversification of industries and employment opportunities in South Australia...


South Australia reveals post-Holden job plan
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South Australia reveals post-Holden job plan

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has announced his rescue plan for workers displaced by Holden's decision to cease production by the end of 2017. Dubbed 'Our Jobs Plan', the proposal includes a four-year, $60 million state government commitment to 14 initiatives designed to prepare South Australia for Holden’s manufacturing exit, and asks for an additional $330 million commitment from the Federal Government...


NSW Senator proposes motorist-set speed limits, 140km/h freeways
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NSW Senator proposes motorist-set speed limits, 140km/h freeways

Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm has proposed road rule changes that would replace existing speed limits with those set by motorists. A NSW senator, and former chairman of the NSW Shooters Party, Leyonhjelm is proposing all Australian states adopt an 85th percentile method of setting speed limits, meaning motorists, not "anonymous unelected bureaucrats", would set limits...


Prime Minister announces $100m fund for displaced Holden workers
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Prime Minister announces $100m fund for displaced Holden workers

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a $100 million fund to help displaced automotive manufacturing industry workers find new jobs in South Australia and Victoria following Holden's decision to stop production in 2017. Abbott told reporters the $100 million fund would be used to "invest in potential employment-generating projects in South Australia and in Victoria"...


Greg Combet to head SA automotive industry transformation taskforce
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Greg Combet to head SA automotive industry transformation taskforce

Former federal government minister Greg Combet has been appointed South Australia's automotive transformation coordinator in a role that will see him oversee the evolution of the industry over the coming years. The appointment follows Holden's announcement that it will end production at its Elizabeth assembly plant in South Australia - and its Port Melbourne engine plant in Victoria - at the end of 2017...


Fringe benefits tax rule changes officially scrapped
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Fringe benefits tax rule changes officially scrapped

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has deemed the car industry "back open in Australia" following confirmation that the Coalition Government will scrap the controversial fringe benefits tax (FBT) rule changes proposed by the previous government. Announced in July by then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the FBT changes were intended to save the government $1...


Holden going ahead with plant upgrades for new models: report
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Holden going ahead with plant upgrades for new models: report

Holden will reportedly implement upgrades to its South Australian assembly plant this summer in preparation for production of the next-generation Commodore and Cruze, despite still having no guarantee of government funding beyond 2016...


Fatalities of young motorists down more than any other age group
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Fatalities of young motorists down more than any other age group

The percentage of young Australian adults killed in road crashes has decreased more than any other age group over the past five years, though young people remain over-represented in roll toll statistics overall. A report by the Federal Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, ‘Young Adults and Road Safety’, found the number of road crash fatalities involving motorists aged 15-24 fell 29 per cent from 2007 to 2012 (385 to 273)...


Australian automotive manufacturing industry exit to cost economy $21.5b
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Australian automotive manufacturing industry exit to cost economy $21.5b

Approximately $21.5 billion would be wiped from the Australian economy if the automotive manufacturing industry collapsed in 2018, according to research commissioned by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI)...


Holden to cease production within four years, say ministers: report
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Holden to cease production within four years, say ministers: report

Senior ministers reportedly believe Holden will end its manufacturing operations within three or four years regardless of whether the Federal Government offers it financial assistance for the future. The Fairfax report says the ministers' perceived view of Holden's supposed planned exit has created divisions within the government, with some opposed to giving the embattled car maker further funding...