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Meetings continue car industry future planning

9 October 2013

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says visits to Toyota Australia and Ford Australia today have provided him with valuable insights into the issues facing Australia’s automotive industry.

“Along with last week’s visit to General Motors Holden, these have been important visits to talk directly with management and workers about manufacturing in the automotive industry,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“While I understand the industry wants policy certainty to plan long-term investments, I need to ensure that Government has all available information before any future decisions are made.

“The Government is preparing for a Productivity Commission review of the industry as a matter of urgency.  The final report will be publicly released next year, but I hope to see a draft by Christmas.”

Mr Macfarlane said the Government was determined to boost Australia’s manufacturing export base and help domestic car manufacturing to become self-sufficient.

“I want to congratulate Toyota Australia on the strength of its export program, with over 70,000 vehicles exported in 2012,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Importantly, exports help Toyota maintain production volumes of 100,000 or more cars a year.”

“Toyota is also to be commended for developing its new engine facility which is expected to produce more than 100,000 units this year, exporting around 18,000 of them to Malaysia and Thailand.

The Minister said he wanted to see Ford continue to operate in Australia in the long-term, after visiting the global design centre at Broadmeadows.

“During my visit to Ford’s global design centre at Broadmeadows, I was thoroughly impressed by their level of skill and expertise in designing and engineering cars for the world,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Ford Australia’s designers and engineers have been central to developing Ford Motor Company’s global vehicles like the Figo small car, the Ranger pick-up and the forthcoming Everest sports utility vehicle. They have designed the innovative Control Blade independent rear suspension for the 2015 Mustang.”

Mr Macfarlane stressed that his visits were part of industry-wide discussions on the sector, its issues and solutions.

“I want to thank Toyota Australia’s Max Yasuda and his executive team and Bob Graziano, of Ford Australia and his design and engineering team for their informative and constructive discussions today,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Media contact: Kylie Barron 0408 508 673