It’s a sad day, but it was always going to happen. Globalisation dictates that production goes to the cheapest labour and infrastructure regions, and to those whose currency is virtually tied to the US dollar. Australia doesn’t comply with any of these criteria.
On top of that, vehicle makers around the world are aggregating into fewer, larger organisations and that means excess production capacity.
In the New Order of world business a country of 22 million that’s thousands of kilometres from major markets doesn’t qualify to have any manufacturing businesses and that’s where Australia is headed, if market forces are allowed to prevail: manufacturing oblivion.
We’ll just become the ‘mine of the world’ and when iron ore demand falls away and coal burning is replaced by fusion reaction, we’ll be broke.
The only way that situation can be changed is through government action. Australia’s adoption of a ‘level playing field’ without protection for local businesses is theoretically efficient, but ignores the fact that in this respect we’re on our own.
Other countries have various forms of protection for their own interests – by export subsidies or tariffs on imports – and if we don’t reintroduce protection there’ll be nothing left.