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Australian-Based Auto Manufacturers Move Away From Down Under

Image via Flickr by Paleontour

According to the Daily Mail, “About 250 Ford Australia workers will lose their jobs at the car manufacturer’s Broadmeadows and Geelong factories, it has been revealed. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union have confirmed to Daily Mail Australia these redundancies were a long time coming, with Ford flagging jobs were at risk earlier this year as car sales decline. It comes just over a year after Ford announced the two factories would close its doors in 2016.”This signifies an end to Ford’s Australian Manufacturing operations. Similar past and pending layoffs and closures by Mitsubishi, Holden, and Toyota continue the trend.

Since 2008 the Australian auto manufacturing industry has suffered. In 2012, four years after Mitsubishi ended its Australian operations and other auto layoffs, The Federal and Victorian governments offered up $53 million as part of a carmaker stimulus package that primarily served Ford. Despite the package, the auto industry has seen job losses of up to 40 percent.

Additional roadblocks exist for General Motors Co. as it prepares to recall 45,600 cars purchased in Australian and New Zealand. Although, this recall is unrelated to Australia’s auto recession, it still represents the trouble that’s been tailing the industry. Unsurprisingly, however, Holden is owned by GM.

The Globe and Mail notes that the implications of Australia’s auto factory closure are vast and diminishing to the country’s overall place in global manufacturing: “[…] by 2017, Australia will join oil-rich Saudi Arabia as the only G20 economy without a major auto industry, and all the economic activity and middle class jobs that come with it. The question faced by Australia – whether to pay the price necessary to keep auto assembly plants, or let them disappear – is the same one many industrialized countries are grappling with.”

There’s no word yet on how Australia, if at all, plans to tackle the industry’s woes.

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