With over one million new cars sold in Australia last year, and forty five brands to choose from, you’d expect our local automotive manufacturers to be rejoicing – far from it.
You see when it comes to buying cars, 80 per cent of us prefer imported vehicles. So where does this leave our local brands?
As you may recall, we touched on this issue back in September, but since the new year, local manufacturers are now desperately in want of an urgent review of the current tariff arrangements.
With the current rate set at 10 per cent local brands are suffering under fierce international competition, intense pricing battles and a stronger Aussie dollar.
The government had proposed to review the tariff later this year, but with the tariff set to fall rather than increase (possibly to as low as 5 per cent) many local manufacturers have indicated this could be the death blow for our car manufacturing industry.
Union representatives from each of our four manufacturers have called on the government to scrap any further tariff cuts concerned that under any further economic pressure manufacturing operations here would either cease entirely and/or move off shore.
Further cost cutting and redundancies are becoming an impossible option with such measures almost forcing the hand of manufacturers to pull up stumps. Recent blows to the industry having already taken their toll on both employees and manufacturing operations.
So, what’s the answer? Is it that the vehicles produced here no longer suit our tastes, or do we simply prefer the status of an imported car? Perhaps we feel our local vehicles just don’t cut it when it comes to kit for cash?
We’d very much like to hear your thoughts and as always welcome your comments. Tell us what you think. Is this the last nail in the coffin or a storm in a tea cup? Would your next new car be a local? CarAdvice looks forward to hearing from you.