Australia’s leading manufacturing union, the AMWU, is predicting the complete end of the car-making industry in the country.
Following GM’s decision to shut its Holden plants in South Australia and Victoria by 2017 — announced today — and Ford’s decision to shut its plants earlier this year, Toyota will be the last remaining auto manufacturer in the country.
An AMWU official said it was “highly likely” Toyota would follow. “In fact it’s almost certain,” he said, according to Sky News.
Toyota has around 4,000 employees in Australia. The Holden decision affects 2,900 jobs over four years and Ford’s closures will mean the loss of 1,200 jobs over three years.
However some 50,000 jobs are estimated to be dependent on the industry through associated businesses such as parts suppliers.
UPDATE: Toyota says it will review whether it can continue operating as Australia’s only car maker. Here’s the Toyota statement in full:
We are saddened to learn of GM Holden’s decision.
This will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia.
We will now work with our suppliers, key stakeholders and the government to determine our next steps and whether we can continue operating as the sole vehicle manufacturer in Australia.
We will continue with our transformation journey as planned.
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