Holden has announced it will stop making cars in Australia in a few years, and now everyone is wondering whether Toyota will follow them and bring an end to car manufacturing in Australia.
Speaking to the ABC this morning Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the government’s position clear, saying while existing subsidies remain available and he hopes Toyota stays, they’re not going to offer extra cash.
While Toyota has not made a decision yet, Abbott has drawn a line in the sand:
One thing that we weren’t going to do was just throw more money at a problem. And there’s generous assistance available to the car industry. I certainly want to try to ensure that we keep Toyota in this country because Toyota, unlike Holden, have got higher volumes and higher exports.
But there is a quantum of money. It’s on the table, it’s available. What we weren’t going to do was put more money on the table and that I think is what some people were, they weren’t saying it out loud but that’s what they were demanding.
To be clear, Abbott said it was some Labor MPs who were demanding extra funding. But he said he had spoken to Toyota management, and that while there would be ongoing discussions about its future ultimately it was “a matter for Toyota”.
Under the Coalition’s car assistance plan, there is still $1 billion in assistance available up until 2015, and a further $1 billion after that year.
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