IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (BUT MAYBE I FEEL FINE?)
After a combined total of 214 years and 16.4 million vehicles built, the lights finally go out on Australian vehicle manufacturing on 20 October when Holden closes its Elizabeth Factory in North Adelaide
All three leading brands have had decent knocks, and made important contributions to the total size of the Australian car parc. However, the reality is that in recent years, the driving force for Ford, Holden and Toyota has been models manufactured overseas.
Looking at the 7,685,197 new Ford, Holden and Toyota vehicles registered since 1992, 41 percent were built in Australia. Bringing the clock forward to new vehicles registered since 2010 and the proportion of locally built vehicles for these three brands falls to 30 percent. For Toyota the proportion of locally manufactured vehicles registered as new since 2010 is only 15 percent.
So where have we been sourcing new vehicles from? Twenty three percent of all new Ford, Holden and Toyota vehicles registered since 2010 were manufactured in Thailand, over half a million vehicles. Sixty two percent of all new Toyota vehicles registered since 2010 were manufactured in Japan, and over the same period a third of new Holdens were built in Korea.
The data demonstrates we have been purchasing and servicing millions of overseas built Ford, Holden and Toyota vehicles for many years. The notion that we are suddenly being faced with unfamiliar foreign imports for these brands clearly flies in the face of the facts.
True, the Ford Falcon and Territory are both consigned to history, but Holden and Toyota have announced new models for the Commodore and Camry respectively, which will be available in 2018.
While the loss of local manufacturing is painful for the affected local communities and supply chains, the Australian automotive aftermarket will continue to service and supply the needs of the Car Parc, irrespective of the country of origin of the vehicles.
This column was prepared for AAA Magazine by ACA Research, our partners in the AAAA Aftermarket Dashboard which is delivered to your inbox each quarter.