Ford closure. But, what about the torpedoed Territory Export program to Thailand, which could have helped save them?Good to see the diversity of new posts on the site, including Ian's intriguing Redex Re-run series. (I still have some reading to do there).
Sticking with Matters Automotive, I have just fired off the following to my federal and local reps, both of whom I know personally, and who are excellent fellows, and to Andrew Bolt. I should make it clear at the outset that I neither own a Ford, nor have done so for many years, but I do believe that the Territory is an excellent, international class leader, and that the next (and final, as things stand :-) Falcon, due out by 2015, will really knock socks off! (That's judging by the odd leaked report, artist's impressions and the like).
Since Thursday morning, every commentator and his brother / sister is right into caning Ford for a multitude of sins, and (at least from the Conservative side), the unsustainably high costs of manufacturing within Oz, But, no-one seems to be talking about the rotten ‘trick’ pulled by our friends in Thailand in torpedoing, after we signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with them, a very viable plan to export the Territory there.
Cartoonist Mark Knight
So, to go back, and expand a little on what I sent out (slightly edited):
" ........ While the release of the Ford announcement on Wednesday morning was not a suprise to me (and no doubt to many, given Ford's previous commitment to stay in local production only to the end of 2016), it was nevertheless terrible. And I am still shaking my head over how that can be. I know, the high $A, changing customer preferences, apparent obstinacy of Ford International to help Ford Oz into export markets, Free Trade Agreements, crazy Union – satisfying industrial outcomes etc .......... But for me, 2 self – inflicted things stand out:
. Our aforseaid uncompetitive and bloated work rules.
. Our insanely ineffective FTA’s with Thailand and Malaysia.
Surely the government, which signed up to them, must be accountable? A very viable plan to export the Territory to Thailand was castrated for Oz, very soon after the signing, by the Thai’s introducing a ridiculously punitive ‘Sales Tax’ on so – called large capacity vehicles (3 litre plus) of 80%!! Our tariff on the shiploads of Thai – built vehicles flooding Australia is 0%!! That killed the plan in the bud. Why didn’t Ford Oz scream blue murder? Who knows, but they didn’t rock the boat. Why were they so inhibited?
I have never really been a fan of Past Premier Bracks, but I think these comments on the topic by him, last year, are stark and worth revisiting: (Please Click Here)
Could this topic be discussed within the joint party room?
PS As I type, PM Gillard has come on Radio National berating Ford for not developing export business. Cringing stuff!! :-( "
Well, this may well end up in WPBs but I have got it off my chest, which was therapeutic. But I do hope it might stimulate something. A final thought might be for government to encourage some J/V partnership with a 'can do' overseas source of money and manufacturing know how. Indian Zillionaire Mr Tata springs to mind - he has done amazingly successful things with eg, Jaguar. (Remember, you read this here, first!! :-)