Toyota Australia’s decision today to stop making cars in Australia by 2017 will hurt not only direct employees but also the wider economy, the Australian Industry Group has warned.
Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said Toyota’s decision was “a sad but inevitable consequence of being the last major auto maker in the country”.
Willox urged the government to effort to help with the transition and soften the blow to affected businesses and communities.
From his statement this afternoon:
“The decision, coming on top of the announcements by Ford and General Motors Holden, has wide implications for the many businesses and jobs up and down the domestic automotive supply chain.
There are two key dimensions to the response that governments should take to business transition: they should facilitate the transition of affected businesses to alternative markets – whether that be through participation in global automotive supply chains or in other areas; and they should assist with steps to address the chasm that has opened across Australia’s broader industrial infrastructure because of the cumulative impacts of the wind down of assembly by Ford, General Motors Holden and now Toyota.
In relation to the impact on the broader manufacturing sector, the automotive assembly companies have long held key roles in the development and diffusion of technological, process and design-led innovation in Australia and have been pivotal in the training of skilled workers and managers who have taken this expertise and applied it across the economy but particularly in the industrial sector.”
The Federal Government in December announced a $100 million assistance package for workers affected by car manufacturing closures.
According to Productivity Commission estimates, the end of Australian car making could indirectly affect more than 40,000 people employed in the manufacture of trucks, buses, and components.
A further 225,000 people are employed in related businesses that the commission says will not be “significantly influenced” by car makers’ exit, including those working in the repair, maintenance and wholesaling of motor vehicles and parts.
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