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Aust on road to nowhere with govt's 'New Car Plan': AMIF

21 August, 2013

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) has slammed the federal government's 'New Car Plan for the 2020s' as a "policy pronouncement worthy of the in-flight napkin it was obviously written on".

Richard Dudley, AMIF CEO, described the plan as "a thinly disguised attempt to buy votes in marginal electorates".

"This announcement perpetuates the current ad-hoc, dysfunctional policy narrative that starts with car and car component manufacturing and ends with the delivery of the new car to the dealer — only this time it sets new benchmarks for larger buckets of money, over longer timeframes with even less detail for only 25 per cent of the industry," Dudley said.

"As in the past, it fails to take into account the unprecedented change impacting the other 75 per cent of the Australian automobile industry — the 100,000 businesses employing a further 320,000 Australians in sectors who sell, service, repair and recycle Australia's 17 million strong vehicle fleet."

Dudley said this approach to an industry as critical as automotive had to stop and repeated the AMIF's call for a green/white paper on the entire Australian automotive industry.  

"Four hundred and fifty automotive businesses on average are closing each year, with this number climbing rapidly," Dudley said.

"The acute shortages of skilled workers are dramatically affecting the productivity and continued viability of many automotive sector businesses.  

"Two thousand seven hundred people left car and car component manufacturing in 2011/12 but more than 13,000 people left the automotive service and repair sectors over the same period. Yet recent research showed there is a shortage of 19,000 skilled mechanics in Australia now.

"It is irresponsible to consider any policy mechanism outside of a White Paper/Green Paper to develop comprehensive, evidence-based policy to guide and sustain the medium- and long-term future of the Australian automotive industry."

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