Finally. It’s taken how many years and how many taxpayers’ dollars before the executives at Ford eventually took the only honourable course of action available and, whiskey and service revolver in hand, they sat alone in their study with the door locked before pulling the trigger.
Cue all-knowing articles from the somnambulant apostrophe-dodgers otherwise known as “journalists” in this country. Here’s one who claimed it was an obvious outcome and everyone could see it coming.
Yeah? Everyone except both political parties and every media outlet I’ve read/viewed/heard in the nearly three years I’ve been here, eh?
How’s the return on “investment” in the other struggler in the car manufacturing industry looking from last year? The one I couldn’t understand at the time, was it a share purchase, a contract for commitment or just a gift?
You see, with Ford leaving the party, it’s highly likely that Holden and Toyota (who have already cut back production while the dollar is high) will not have enough of a critical mass to support the necessary domestic parts supply chain. Which means even higher input costs as the imported parts will be subject to duty.
Holden Motors will be going on my 2017 DeadPool list as a consequence.
The reactions to the news about the factory closures are instructional. My flabber was ghasted last night while watching one talking heads programme. An unreconstructed communist called Nick Champion, a Federal MP, suggested that the right action was more government assistance and, get this, import tariffs.
Good people of Australia, your politicians hold you in such utter contempt that, rather than respect your decision (in the hundreds of thousands per year) to not touch the Ford Falcon with a shit-encrusted 20ft pole and buy superior and cheaper imported cars instead, they want to encourage you by force (tax IS threatened force; try not paying it) to buy the domestic shitbox from Geelong.
I’m increasingly of the opinion that the majority of Australian politicians are unconsciously nostalgic for the 1970′s and have statist, if not Communist tendencies. I include many of the Liberal party in that generalisation too. Nick Champion was only 8 years old at the end of that decade so probably has little memory of the retaliatory trade resort unctions in place around the globe. I’d commend him to read some modern economic history.
Tariffs are one way of driving the Australian
De Loren Commodore back to the future and into the bad old days of restricted global trade.
Highly-unionised workforces are another sure fire method.
Oh lookee here; just one of the motor industry’s Employment Bargaining Agreements. There’s some stunning provisions in this contract with a group of cleaners. Extremely generous severance pay, requirements on Ford to notify the union of changes to the job (“could you please clean the storeroom as we’ve just emptied it?”, “no, you’ve got to check with the union first”) and $4 more than the minimum hourly wage. $4 doesn’t sound much, but it’s $7,000 a year more per employee, all of which is an input cost to that Commodore you didn’t buy.
Everyone is to blame for Ford closing, ultimately. Feel free to dish out percentages of blame across these stakeholders;
- Ford’s management: Terrible choices about production models and weak negotiation skills with unions.
- Unions: Look at the result of those 4 weeks paid leave, plus sick leave (which Australians view as real leave that must be taken!), generous parental leave, additional national holidays, fantastic severance pay, unreal shift loadings and overtime rates (2.5 x pay for weekends??).
- Federal and State Governments: Heroin addicts don’t tend to get clean by gifts of more heroin, they usually just die. Oh, hang on….
- Joe Public: Allowing your government to bail out these idiots yet not buying the damn car is analogous to paying your monthly subscription to Fitness First but only ever using the sauna.
- The high dollar. Nah, only kidding; that’s not to blame at all, despite what you’ll read in the press. Just a convenient crutch.
Depending on which source you believe, there are somewhere between 200,000 and 950,000 folk employed in or dependent on the car manufacturing industry in Australia. Any fool can see that these jobs are gone forever by the end of the decade at latest.
Don’t cry for them though; they’ve got some of the best severance terms this side of a 1970′s nationalised industry. We’re talking 6 figures in most cases.
But, the question still not being asked and therefore miles away from being answered is, “where are those jobs coming from in future?”
They’re not coming from mining anymore and I’ve placed my bet that the RBA is wrong, they won’t come from the housing industry either.
What’s Australia’s future economy going to be based on?
FORD: Failed on
rallying dollar rubbish decisions.