Despite aid from government grants totalling millions of dollars, the industry continues to suffer with severe job losses in recent years.
The final nail in the coffin has been the closure of Mitsubishi's manufacturing plant in Adelaide, with Ford's Geelong plant to follow in 2011.
Typically, feeble bickering has overshadowed the issue at hand, with our politicians more concerned with the $2000-per-day salary which will be given to Bracks during the inquiry.
"In that case, how much will Mr Bracks be paid per day, seeing that it was not denied that he was going to be appointed?" Liberal senator Eric Abetz asked.
Abetz speculated that industry minister Kim Carr's department had actually recommended the Productivity Commission conduct the review, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd criticised for appointing Labor 'mates' instead.