by Stuart Livesey
Now the Australian car makers want the Government to help
If there is one thing that history teaches us it’s that we never learn a damn thing from history whether it’s ancient or much more recent.
In the United States Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are all in varying degrees of trouble because they have been building cars that the consumers aren’t buying. Increasing fuel costs, environmental concerns together with increased interest rates have led the American car buyer to look for smaller, cheaper alternatives.
But have the Australian off-shoots of the American manufacturers learned anything from that? Apparently not and now the word on the street is that all four Australian car manufacturers have gone cap in hand to the Federal Government to ask for a $10 billion bail-out because the Australian consumer is doing exactly what their American counterparts have done.
Even the Federal Government is concerned by figures that indicate that today the Australian manufacturers have just 20% of the market compared to 70% just 18 years ago.
5 thoughts on “Building Cars No One Wants”
It always amazes me how Aussie manufacturers continue to make big family cars, realize they are not selling, and then ask for money, so they can build more of these big family cars, and we, the tax payers, are funding their mistakes
I bought a 4 cylinder car I don’t want or need speed,just comfort and safety.. I think a meduim car running on hydrogen would be the answer to their woes… cheap lean and green….. the technology is available….so come on…
Yes a medium sized 4 cylinder car ( including a diesel) locally built is long overdue. How big is the average Australia family. 2 adults 2 children max.
Ford/Holden run from Detroit and we all know how fuel efficent Yank cars are. We desperatley need a lot more European influence in locally built cars.Smaller/lighter, fuel efficent, high on safety features is required.
Speaking of imported cars, do you know anyone in Oz who would import and comply a Ford C Max diesel from the UK. These are the most comfortable car on the market, bar none and it astounds me that they’re not sold here. If you don’t believe me, sit in a Falcon (I have) then sit in one of these (I have). You instantly discover the Falcon’s ergonomics to be the throw back to the 1970’s that they are, ie low seat position and you have to bend your head down every time you get in and out of the thing (no good for 6 foot plus like me with a dodgy back). To get an idea of what I’m talking about, go and sit in a Ford teritory and now imagine this space in a car about the size of a Ford Focus with 4 cylinder diesel diesel economy. Better yet, why don’t we build thewm here?
The question of seats and seat designs is a very interesting one and something I’m going to get one of our writers to look at in more depth. It’s hard to believe that some designers get seats so right while others get them so wrong.
Back around 1994 I was stationed at a two-man centre that had two vehicles and a huge area to cover. One was a brand new Falcon sedan while the other was a Hoden Rodeo ute. As the officer-in-charge I had my choice of which vehicle I wanted to drive and always chose the Rodeo … even with a bench seat … was a lot more comfortable to drive than the Falcon.
These days I share office space with a guy who has a late model Falcon wagon and sometimes borrow it for a day return trip to Brisbane … I only do that when I really have to because the seats in my 2000 model Hyundai Grandeur offer much better support and, like you, I don’t have to fold myself into the car.
Before I learned to do that I whacked my head on the top of the door opening several times.
As for your other question about importing and modifying a vehicle from the UK, I’m afraid I can’t help you. One time there were several businesses that specialised in that but whether they’re still around in these tough times is anyone’s guess.
Stuart … the editor 🙂
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