Ohh MAMA - Make Australia Make Again

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Westofthelake started the topic in Friday, 29 May 2020 at 10:18pm

M.A.M.A

MAMA-symbols

Make Australia Make Again*

Countries everywhere are rethinking their reliance on China as the world’s factory, and some of Australia’s biggest entrepreneurs, with capital that can be lavished on big ideas, are already turning their minds to capturing a slice of a potential renaissance of Made in Australia.

One way to fire up the economy is to turbocharge Australian manufacturing.

The sector has dwindled since its 1960s heyday, when it accounted for 30per cent of GDP, to less than 6 per cent today.

For the decade up to 2019 the share of GDP fell 6.4 per cent to $104.5billion, while the number employed by the sector fell 6.2 per cent to 921,200.

Yet at the same time despite a battering by the global financial crisis, soaring currency and the rise of China, total manufacturing profits have improved by 12.9 per cent to $31 billion, thanks to a gradual shift to higher-end products.

“We’ve got a low Australian dollar, low interest rates, disrupted and fractured international supply chains and a rise in the need for sovereign capability and capacity in manufacturing core equipment. There’s a perfect environment here for companies to invest.”

I think we need to build on that, and not succumb to knee-jerk reactions or retreat back to the old world of regressive tariffs and fortress Australia.

And therein lies the tripwire upon which a dirigiste (State controlled) resurgence of manufacturing threatens to stumble: we can’t undermine the asset that’s as important to Australia’s prosperity as its natural resources – free trade.

“In the past, people said Australia’s population was too small to support manufacturing. But the free trade agreements have given us a huge market just to the north of us,” he says.

“…they’ve still got up to 30 pieces of paperwork to fill in for 30 different government departments every time they want to import or export something,”

“...but we’ve got a problem nationally where only 10 per cent of goods leave our ports by rail,” he says. “The traffic congestion that creates is a pretty obvious logjam for us as a nation.”

The decline of Australian manufacturing creates a vicious circle of inefficiency in itself. “For every 10 full containers that come into Australia, another five go out empty, and we’re all paying more for the movement of that thin air,” he says.

“Australia drank the free-trade juice and decided that offshoring was OK,” he told the Financial Review in April.
“Well, that era is gone.”

Let’s hope so.
Time will tell.
(But don’t expect me to wear one of those hats)
*extremely summarised version taken from a certain publication, and not something I would ever pay to read.

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Friday, 29 May 2020 at 10:22pm

Anyone want to buy a red cap?

JQ's picture
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JQ commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 10:42am

I'd love to see more manufacturing taking place in Australia, but I don't think its competitive. You just can't compete with people paid a few dollars a day.

I think the government should introduce some sort of tax and/or tariff measure designed to encourage and support more manufacturing in Australia. I'd like to see it based around quality and durability of products.

I for one would pay more for a quality, long lived, Australian made product. Australia can only hope to compete with regulatory assistance from government and on quality terms.

Better quality and more durable products would also help reduce the dreadful wastefulness of our society.

silentp's picture
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silentp commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 10:57am

Spot on, when you see those container ships arriving in Australia I always wonder what percentage on board ends up in landfill within a few years.

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 11:05am

Thanks JQ, I 'd have to agree with everything you said.

It certainly is a hard task for Australia to compete in manufacturing when so many countries can produce the same stuff for a fraction of the cost.

Maybe as we move forward into a more robotic future we can see opportunities created to level out that playing field of cost.

Or maybe like you say 'quality' becomes the SCA (Strategic competitive advantage) that Australian manufacturing should pursue.

IF everything is left to the market then we will always lose out as the bottom line is about profit. I would rather see it cost a bit more and be made in Australia then saving a few bucks to get it manufactured overseas. I think of the 2016 NSW government's traitorous decision to get trains made overseas rather than here in Australia... to save a few bucks. A couple of billion dollars into Korea's economy.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/contract-for-new-trains-for-nsw-inte...

"It’s this sort of high-tech manufacturing the smart money sees value in. But the odds are long. A tax shake-up, unlocking cheap energy and snatching a laser focus to develop what we’re really good at will be critical to success. Manufacturing veterans know it’s only a matter of time before supply chains repair."

Anyway if you're interested the entire article that I summarised above is available here: https://www.afr.com/companies/manufacturing/made-in-australia-can-make-a...

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 11:11am

Agree with nearly all of what you guys are saying. WoL - family members make high tech rail grinders in Perth (massive train size things) - high quality, service needed on our rail too.
Exporting north even within FTAs is fraught with danger - eg when the Thai FTA was signed, and cars could go both ways, within 2 weeks the Thai government slapped a prohibitive tariff on any motor bigger than 2.7L (ie, everything made in Oz). Ford did attempt to export the Territory to them, but the price after the tariff was so high they were lucky to sell a couple of hundred. If you look at how many cars are now imported to Oz from Thailand 0% tariff (basically, all the dual cab utes) it pretty much replaces the annual volume of the entire, defunct, Australian car industry.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 11:49am

So I see targeting things you can replace an import with - say, a stapler - automate the production and distribution, use quality materials (my grandfather's stapler is still in use and perfect condition after 70 years, heavy, solid accurate parts, beautiful finish, great action). As JQ said, some form of tariff will help. For example, the Australian car industry could survive (just) at 10%, but was dead at 5%.
Fair trade is better than "free trade" (do you require multiple hundreds of pages of agreement if trade is actually truly "free"? Is today's trade system more like a series of structured agreements that may or may not favour a country?) What impositions does the other side set on you that you do not set on it? Try setting up a business in Singapore without a local contact/partner, or buying a house in Indo for the same. Try importing a car to China; or setting up your own factory without a local connection/transfer of IP.

I have always thought Australia's niche could be an intersection of creative, functional and simple, durable design; and high quality materials derived from our abundance of resources. Things here have to be durable (distances and harsh climate demand it) and often simple too. Fewer moving parts, better quality of part construction.

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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 11:50am
Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 12:05pm

I hear ya vj.

The big kookaburra, haha it was only a matter of time.

If it was up to me I would tariff all imported cars under 100k at 10%, and anything over at 20% ( at least ) - all that money could be directly invested into re-building and sustaining a car industry.

"While Asian countries are committed to lower tariffs and are reported to be lowering them, tariff rates of 50 to 100 per cent are still the rule. Tariffs at these rates are designed to assist fledgling motor vehicle industries."

If you ever wondered how to slowly kill an entire Australian manufacturing industry then check the table below regarding tariffs of imported cars since 87.
In the spirit of free trade they say.

tariffs

https://www.aph.gov.au/sitecore/content/Home/About_Parliament/Parliament...

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 2:30pm

Australia should impose an import duty on countries which don’t pay an average living wage to workers.

This would discourage the practice overseas , endure that Australian products are competitive against items produced using slave labour and create a manufacturing base here .

Its the high moral ground. Buying products produced by people getting paid less than a living wage is enabling slavery.

JQ's picture
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JQ commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 2:42pm

That's a great idea Blowin - right there with you on that one. I think market based solutions like this would be a great thing.

It's kind like artificial evolution, like farmers have been doing for stock and crops for centuries, giving us the high yielding products we have today.

Governments can put prices on things like carbon, or tariffs on products made with exploitative employment practices or put a cost on making inefficient products or poor quality products and put artificial pressures on the market, controlling the way it evolves.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 4:01pm

Acoss (Australian Council of Social Service)
" The tax system contributes to Australia having among the highest housing costs and highest household debt in the world."
*Housing is highest impost spend (30%) on Australians
*Biggest Tax deductions to property investors
*Highest Taxes (GST) on Residential & Social housing.(No exemption!)
*Oz houses upscale 40% of GST taxing with mega Oz made mushrooming process

Neighbours NZ pay no GST on own House price. (10% rebate of hidden 40%)
Oz Govt rebate is around 2-3% of hidden 40% highest GST impost

Oz GST imposts the greediest Govt penalty on Nationally (OZ) made Goods.
Housing is largest Oz Made (Goods) job employer so is highest penalized by GST
Aussie dream is over!

Fresh food is exempt (Here & globally) but is grown distant to Oz Markets.
Food is not manufactured or built, it grows naturally. (No money take for Lib Govt)
What point taxing a free upscale process..So Pollies are now saints...we'll save you!
Food is 22% of Spend...but Oz wastes more food & eats too much of it!

Food manufacturing is / was going broke due to GST labour & Supermarket wrap.
More Oz tech components the more GST impost. (Import foreign machines)
Simple Canneries stuck it out for 15 years > GST on imports saved the last of them.
Good example being GST finally caught up with automated Ice Block factory.
This shows how the GST ate thru the lot, right down to the ice block conveyor belt.

The #1 impost on distant Oz food is Transport.
Nation Building is like Housing & requires vast logistics over dangerous terrain.
GST milch cows via State/Fed jobs for mates rake in more GST for more mates etc..
State red tape fees can now factor 20% GST quango on the project. (No Limits!)
Howard's 50% - 50% National Roads fast became 40%-60% > 20%-80%.
Nation Building (re: Howard's response to his own GST= 30% tax on Oz Road/Rail)
Resulting in Toll roads that increase all Oz Food prices
Nats / Lib slave labour [visas] replaced GST Aussie fruit pickers / Cooks / Security....

Transport (15%) is next biggest Oz spend. (Transit GST is exempt elsewhere)
Since GST 30% higher Transit Network build. (See Howard's Roads impost above)
eg: Oz fastest growing region > Brisbane to Gold Coast AirTrain...(No brainer)
Promise date of 2016 is now 2038. (GST = 22 year delay for #1 Oz Rail Project)
Developers Timeshare Trolleys even pick the Train carcass clean.

Oz Trams are made in Germany / France (Wi-Fi Bio Cams > app / social credit).
Oz Trams still run the Melbourne free City Circle + Vic has a Euro Tram factory.

Vehicle / Car Manufacturing..
GST smashed this also...Govt rebates / Plant Handouts / Employee retraining etc...
Oz can no longer make even a simple Tyre for a Car...( OZ can't make a wheel?)
Ironically like Employment does exist & is shaped directly by GST impost.

Standard / Niche / Govt Issue can absorb the GST ( Oz Competitive Tech is dead!)
Crew can read this for themselves...

Oz made firms - 90 Caravan 32 Bus 15 Aircraft 11 bikes 4 Train 3 Truck 1 Tram.
All here know of Oz world beating Leisure Boating / Water Craft companies.
Whitegoods - 1 Washing Machine / Dryers (Simpson) / 0 Fridges (Sad Story)
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-11/last-australian-made-fridge-is-en...
Appliances -1 Breville

We can once again build a car but unfair GST penalty must go!
A car best represents all tech & economy in one device as #1 nation's learning tool.
Crew sees we have the tech but also a snowballing GST penalty around our necks.
The harder you work, the greater impost on mates & ramps record personal debt.

GST dumbed down Oz by highest to lowest Oz labour content then wiped us out.
No other Global tax impost penalises a Nation's worth & security as Oz GST.

Howard even had to bail out his brother's textile plant due to his own greedy take.
.
His Bar Code babies are now recruits for * *StaR Shot ** Academy
Lib's 10 year **StaR Shots * Info War will brainwash Oz Made for security reason.
Barcode Baby troops of Tomorrow will oust any foreign muck..($19b > 2026)
https://specialreports.theaustralian.com.au/1602431/dts/

Helicopters - Last (US Design) Oz Made (Army choppers 1971-2018)
6 Oz Submarines 1990-2003 by 2012 only 2 operational > Now Ok (2016-2030's)
12 new French designed Subs will be built in Oz $50m > now $220m

Biggest Oz Ship - HMAS Success 1984 -2019 ($197.41 m- Blew out cost of 2nd)
South Oz builds current fleet of 150m long destroyers (with US weaponry)
https://www.asc.com.au/

Satellite production doubles every decade from 1967(3rd Nation to do so).
Cube Sats: NGSO [ QB 50 ] Euro / Oz > 38 (12 for weather) via (Space X launch)
100 > 1,000's bread loaf sats burning out each 3 years > small rocket relaunches.

Rockets (Test / Sounding) 30- 90miles Woomera 2/year (1990's >)
Ausroc -(I-V) (Sats +space junk) 300-500kms Orbit (1988 >)
2020's OZ made Rockets 38/yr deploy 100's Oz made Spy satellites by 2026.
https://www.swellnet.com/comment/671525

Oz can make anything but GST penalises us from competitive quality export goods.
tbb believes the world views us as Dumbass Aussies & that's the true GST impost.
We shoot ourselves in the foot & then pretend we hobble faster than world spins.
As no experts put world's worst GST up for review, our kids will suffer more so.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 4:00pm

“We shoot ourselves in the foot & then pretend we hobble faster than world spins.”

Great line.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 6:14pm

TBB - that's a massive list of additional cost input, it'll take time for it to sink in. (+1 for 'milch cows', old U-Boat term...)

Oz can't make a wheel? Actually we make very, very good ones - local high end manufacturing happy story:

https://www.carbonrev.com/

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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 6:42pm

"We can once again build a car but unfair GST penalty must go!
A car best represents all tech & economy in one device as #1 nation's learning tool.
Crew sees we have the tech but also a snowballing GST penalty around our necks.
The harder you work, the greater impost on mates & ramps record personal debt.

GST dumbed down Oz by highest to lowest Oz labour content then wiped us out.
No other Global tax impost penalises a Nation's worth & security as Oz GST."

Cars are somewhat of a flagship consumer tech/durable item and we can definitely do them if the policy conditions are benign. I think we're the only G20 nation that can no longer manufacture cars to scale (honourable mention to new Brabham supercar in Adelaide).

Car industry at present is looking into the abyss worldwide - a perfect storm of the coming electrification, crash in oil, crash in demand as of virus, rise of battery tech, decline in EROEI of energy sources... by 2025 this should have done it's damage and this would be a good time to support & create a future based Oz car industry if we have the long term planning nous and desire to do so.

If you want to know just how damaging it's going to be for oil and car industries, Tony Seba did an excellent speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0

As for Oz's extra cost input via GST (tbb did excellent post in last year or so, detailed how GST added in a merry-go-round of additional cost, so the more complexity you add to the production of an item, the more tax gets added at each stage, for an overall overlapping of taxation and ramping of input costs).... maybe the solution to this bullshit is to manufacture everything in house with full vertical integration and create every component from scratch yourself. Maybe the solution is to set up areas of Manufacturing Excellence on cheap land and basically the tax rules that club the rest of Australia don't apply there.

JQ's picture
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JQ commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 7:14pm

VJ

'the more tax gets added at each stage, for an overall overlapping of taxation and ramping of input costs'

I'm pretty sure the tax doesn't work like that, if you are referring to GST. Unless I'm mistaken, when purchasing for business use you don't pay GST. This is for exactly that reason, so the costs don't compound.

' Maybe the solution is to set up areas of Manufacturing Excellence on cheap land and basically the tax rules that club the rest of Australia don't apply there.'

Definitely don't agree with that one, the tax laws should apply equally across the country and I don't think they 'club' the industry - as much as business might claim they do.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 31 May 2020 at 10:46pm

Well, as long as you know what you are up against:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_economic_zone

look how many of them there are!

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 2:11am

tbb admits to borrowing the line about the car as a tool to balance economy.
South Korean Car Boss argued the case for national pride & sonic screwdriver.

Here's a twist though...a country as central as South Korea can say that as a given.
Oz already has a distance penalty for big ticket car exports + Jumbo tax.
Korea can ship 10x the volume to #1 markets before Oz reach the Korean shore.

Oz can command any shipping price for Livestock / Food / Minerals.
We are way behind in cutting a deal for Shipping cars, up against it before we start.

If we are to set off Star Shots it needs a universal export pay off to recoup $20b.
Cut taxes on universal Home / Car security / battery tech components for export.
We basically fine tune & upgrade the World's toys at a pro level.
Jock Academy for barcode babies pays out with bonus harmless knock off tech.
Think about it! We must value add the Star Shots or it collapses in a heap.

This way we actually walk the talk & dump the bogan tag without building a car.
The world say thanx for the cool upgrade Oz...they must be so smart downunder.

Alternate plan for actually building our own cars is much easier...
Govt ties race handouts to only 'Oz made racing cars'...(Appeals to the bogans!)
Hord camp vs Folden camp & (Spin offs will soon flow from these camps.)
tbb did the maths and Car Racing rort is way more than enough to run a car plant.

Was meant to highlight the unfair nature of GST.
Rich folk don't get what it's is all about...
They buy luxury car ...claim the [ G ] tax business break...run down the warranty.
Trade in the car with no [ S ] ever required...(Rich = GST exempt) on all buys.

tbb pays [ G ] on '2nd hand car' + needs to fork out [ G & S ] 2 x Year until it dies.
The rich dodge GST like any other tax, we poor live & breathe GST until death.

Worse still is Flood / Fire damage!
Govt give a handout then claw back misery [GST]
Clean up + rebuild is Goods +Labour intense > mushrooms to over 40% GST take.
No! You don't report / claim most as it's pre ramped but you certainly are paying it!

Economists value add 10% GST to 13% but only on end pricing.
They never uproot the housing mushroom or Govt Nation Building red tape ramps.
The more mistakes the Govt makes the more it claims back & bills you... Sorted.
The more mistakes you make the more you pay the Govt...Too easy!
.......................................................
JQ (Reply to next Comment)
Rebuilding a house requires the most exhaustive Oz manufactured Tax content.
Timber- from seed / forestry / Storing / Milling / Trades (Endless Taxes)
Concrete / Bricks / Plaster / Tiles / Glass- From quarries / kilns / Storage / Trucking
(Endless Taxes)
Minerals /Metals / Paints / Glues / Chemicals / Labs / Toxic Handling
(Endless Govt fees each with GST)
1000's of Oz GST Taxed Govt Dept's / materials / Tools / transiting / Offices / labour.

Each ballooning value with each drop of sweat & handling, all mushrooming to finish.
So even (as they say) you pay the GST on value add.(A house has a fuckload of value add)

Just how much...none have ever delved that deep?
No economist has ever attempted to itemise the detail of an Aussie Dream.
We know Govt dines off expanding the Housing process & grow more GST tentacles each year.
100 years ago...maybe 50 years ago you could tally how many blokes & what processes.
Now impossibly 10,000 + GST stamps from each speck/seed to pen/stickerz to our Houses.

The ever escalating (value add) effect is devastating & keeps expanding every year.(By Law)

Post GST our firm 30 in-town homes/month down to just 3 homes/month > to (200kms)
The price of the Houses went up 30-40%..(Well above 10%) We told them so!
They shrunk room/Garage sizes + (Zero Lot blocks) 2 > 1 lane streets + Cars on footpaths
Townhouses + Body Corp...parked cars encroach on main roads now.

GST then ate away all Oz industries by percentage of the Oz labor / material content
Hi-Rise Building (Started Importing to Cut corners > cracking apart or going up in flames)
Mining is gearing towards (Automated) Driverless Trucks / Trains > FIFO
Fewer Bridges > More Gridlocked Roads > Now Toll Roads blanket each city.
E/C Fast Train > Intercity Trains (All shelved) for Whiteshoe Tombstone Timeshare Trolleys.

Schools ! My bros & I at our old school...tbb made them come down from Rotted Stairs.
Showed Bros what splinter of mouldy wood was holding up the stair case...
B'Hds / GC Highway & the school is a fucking right off it is... tbb was Shocked.
Cars > Factories (Handouts/Closures) > OZ Retail (demanded GST import tax)
Depending on Nation, that 10% import tax is just a one GST stamp for the rival o/s item.
Same Oz item sweated (100-1000) x 10% GST stamps to compete on the same shelf.

The harder we work the faster the Govt grows but can't afford to employ us > re: [visas]

PS: Consider many (Go fund me) folk, price themselves out of Govt open ended disaster relief.
People think they're helping, but families end up worse off than neighbours.
(Careful what you ask for!)
JQ ...reply starts mid way thru....^ above.

JQ's picture
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JQ commented Monday, 1 Jun 2020 at 3:53pm

Hey TBB, I can't follow this one:

'Worse still is Flood / Fire damage!
Govt give a handout then claw back misery [GST]
Clean up + rebuild is Goods +Labour intense > mushrooms to over 40% GST take.
No! You don't report / claim most as it's pre ramped but you certainly are paying it!'

Can you break it down for me?

My understanding is that, say you are getting a tradesman in to repair damage to your kitchen - you will pay GST on the bill you receive from him.

The materials he purchases are exempt from GST and you are not 'double' charged GST.

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Dale -Cooper commented Monday, 1 Jun 2020 at 5:04pm

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

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Dale -Cooper commented Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020 at 2:11pm

Bernarded.

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020 at 2:31pm

oh dear....errrr God help us?

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 3:36pm

In regards to manufacturing cars, apart from the economics aspect of things that cause it to be unviable, i think there is other aspects at play now.

For instance once upon a time most people were happy to have a Ford or Holden, a Commodore or a Falcon it didn't even matter if you had the same model car as your neighbour, even the same colour.

But really these days who wants a holden or ford ?

They are kind of viewed in the same way VB a Tooheys are, once upon a time we were all happy to just grab a slab of VB or Tooheys but now people want to be different, feel special, appear sophisticated/hip/cool, everyone needs to drink some obscure boutique beer.

It's the same with cars, people want something different than everyone else if possible and they want lots of choice.

Only exception to this is when something becomes regarded as superior or cutting edge like Apple products have been in the past, i think Tesla also falls into this category.

A relatively small population is also an issue, if we were like USA then this factor wouldn't be an issue as the market would be much larger.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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Blowin commented Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 3:55pm

Nothing cool about a Hilux and I think they’re Australia’s best selling car.

Just make it work , make it last and make it reliable. There’s always been flash foreign cars to tempt the lairs , even when Holdens and Fords ruled the roads.

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stunet commented Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 7:30pm

"But really these days who wants a holden or ford ?"

What about if your Commodore is coloured 'Jamaica Blue', that's cool yeah?

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tubeshooter commented Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 8:21pm

A classic reel of old Aussie car adds .. worth a watch. Kicks off with Ben Lexen plugging the Tarago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiCpG0YiGEA

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velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 3 Jun 2020 at 8:52pm

I still like 'em Indo, they were built here by the Broady or Lisbef crew, parts are cheap as they get older, and the wagons fit boards nicely. Drivetrains are usually very reliable.

D-Rex's picture
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D-Rex commented Thursday, 4 Jun 2020 at 6:57pm

The Button Car Plan was the beginning of the end for the industry. Anyone remember the Toyoya Lexcen or Holden Nova? BTW Falcon wagons still rule.

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stunet commented Thursday, 4 Jun 2020 at 7:17pm

Amongst anything else, Toyota Lexcen was an insult to its namesake.

A creative, original thinker who had a rebadged Holden Commodore named after him.

Good call, Toyota.

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Westofthelake commented Thursday, 4 Jun 2020 at 9:13pm

Years ago my mates dad brought him an old VJ* sailing boat, cheap. To make it look like new he had us sand it, and help him paint it.

We couldn't think of a name so his dad who worked for Holden came home one day with a new set of stickers.

The white/blue VJ would be called the 'Vacationer'**. (we still laugh about it to this day)

We had our own home-made trolley that we used to get it to the lake and back, less than a km away, mostly flat surface road. One things for sure, pulling that thing the last 200m up a steep narrow track back to his house was no vacation!

But it was so much fun at the time.

*Vaucluse Junior (or Vee Jay) - very cool little 2-person boat with a spinnaker.

** 1985 VK model Holden Commodore. (Special Edition, apparently)

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Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 9:29pm

They should bring these back, the good ol' shaggin' wagon.

shagginwagon

Not that I ever owned one.

"You’ve got America to thank for the invention of the panel van, but it was when these half-car, half-truck Frankenvans wafted their way across the Pacific and hit the shores of Australia at the start of the Seventies that things really took off. See, these slab-sided vans caught the attention of the surfing community who saw an opportunity to put their surfboard on the roof, sleep in the back and wait for the bombs (that’s the waves, to you or I) to roll in. But this was the Seventies, remember. So the post-baby boomers didn’t just see them as a way to efficiently travel from beach to beach, but an opportunity for freedom, expressionism, sexual awakening and rebellion.

Manufacturers quickly responded. Wanting to get into the lifestyle market (before marketing departments had even invented the term ‘lifestyle motoring’) in 1974 Holden launched the Sandman. It was an instant hit, a zeitgeist bullseye that captured the psyche of the young Australian male of the time perfectly. So Holden’s arch-rival – Ford – hit back with the XB Surferoo – a GS spec panel van with GC exterior stripes, a bonnet with ‘NASA’ scoops, twelve-slot rally wheels and the crucial built-in beer cooler. God bless the Seventies. "

https://www.topgear.com/car-news/weird/nothing-says-valentines-day-shagg...

https://australiarememberwhen.net.au/the-shaggin-wagon-cars-from-our-youth/

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Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 9:01pm

"For all the complaints from business leaders about overpaid Australian workers, it was the soaring currency and the vast lift in real estate values that priced us out of the global manufacturing ballpark."

frog said: *

"A fairly balanced perspective on Australia's options for more manufacturing:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-09/manufacturing-can-be-brought-back...

As always, no simple answers. A theme is how "success" (mining, tourism, immigration) have acted to make our currency way higher than it used to be in terms relative to other nations and hence our labour costs are similarly high if priced in USD.

Plus of course we had heroic (in their own eyes despite having no skin in the game) "free trade fanatics "(a common description from other countries trade ministers when they encountered Aussies in negotiations) in both political parties who assumed the blow torch of competition would spur our manufacturers to run faster and innovate more. Sadly, in practice, when it got too hot they packed their bags and closed shop or sent the manufacturing to China. Many existing and potential manufacturers made the rational but less nationally beneficial decision and looked elsewhere for opportunity and so joined in buying real estate as a simpler way to make money.

We went from 26% of the economy in manufacturing to 6% !! All those glossy industry plans, deeply serious productivity commission reports and pollies promising the spur of competition as the answer forgot about currency appreciation and human nature.

Aahh, how we love classical economists and their theories."

*re-posted from Interesting Stuff thread since it went straight through to the keeper.

Thanks frog.
I found some really good practical reasons of why manufacturing has declined, and a few where-to-from-here suggestions, in that article.

Westofthelake's picture
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Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 9:10pm

"Here we are again where we could really grasp this opportunity with both hands, and yet a whole lot of people are saying, 'No, we must keep producing stuff out of coal-fired electricity.'

Coronavirus has thrown a spotlight on Australia's manufacturing industry. This is the story of its rise and fall (sorta)

"I'm pretty sceptical that debate will go very far, given our history."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-08/australian-manufacturing-rise-and...

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Westofthelake commented Sunday, 14 Jun 2020 at 11:12am

Build 'em here! In Port Kembla at least.

Hydrogen powered cars to be almost 80% made in Australia, by 2024. (better than 0%)

h2x

"He said with the sharp economic downturn around the world triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, now was the right time to bring vehicle manufacturing back to Australia. The aim is to use hydrogen fuel cell technology and other green technology to make a range of different vehicles, including passenger cars and industrial vehicles. Under the growth plans, it hopes to have a workforce of 5000 people by 2025. The industrial vehicles are likely to go into commercial production first."

Time will tell.

https://www.aumanufacturing.com.au/hydrogen-vehicles-to-be-manufactured-...

https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/snowy-hydrogen-powered-car-rises...

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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 14 Jun 2020 at 2:21pm

I love this hollow argument that Australia can be some renewable energy super power "we have sun wind and land"

Most countries have plenty of sun & wind and even with large populations still have huge areas of land. (only exception Singapore) and most developing countries have less regulation and opposition to putting say wind turbines right next too a town etc.

What's to stop another country like Indonesia saying okay we will do the same and we will sell the energy cheaper than Australia can, or the countries you aim to export too creating their own renewable energy and saying sorry we don't need your energy anymore or you can try to compete in out market but the price is now half what you want..

It's just not the same as a resource like coal, iron ore, uranium, cobalt, lithium or gold, oil etc these are things that are limited supply most countries dont have them and even in some cases when they do they are found at greater depths etc so cost more to extract, this leaves countries that are resource rich with easy access to these resources at a clear advatage.

Also don't understand why any company would say build cars in Australia and make say 10K profit on each car, when they can make them in SE Asia and make 20K profit on each car.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

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spencie commented Sunday, 14 Jun 2020 at 4:27pm

Agree with Indo Dreaming 100%.

easterly

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Westofthelake commented Sunday, 14 Jun 2020 at 7:22pm

@indo - "I love this hollow argument that Australia can be some renewable energy super power "we have sun wind and land"."

I guess "renewable energy super power" sounds kinda super optimistic. Or more like a superlative headline that subtly triggers a fossil-fuel lover's inner hatred of the Green movement. Or an overtly powerful way of simply saying we export more than we consume....or whatever you want it to mean.

From the article below:

"Australia’s political class is wrestling with the issue of how big a share renewable energy should hold in Australia’s grid. At around 20 per cent now, energy minister Angus Taylor already thinks there is too much wind and solar in the network."

Angus Taylor's attitude is a prime and typical position of a politician leading a country like its still attached to the past.

"Labor wants a 50 per cent share by 2030, while the Greens suggest 100 per cent by the same date. The Australian Energy Market Operator is contemplating scenarios that could see the grid largely decarbonised before 2050. Private researchers suggest Australia should be aiming for 200 per cent renewables, and use the surplus for storage and the nascent hydrogen economy."

Besides, it's not just about "sun, wind and land".

It is also about pumped hydro, hydrogen, and battery storage.

Not to mention political will and public policy.

"It was also important to change and adapt the rules of the market, to unlock the technology, economic and regulatory potential of large scale batteries, for instance, which Miller said could perform many of the functions currently performed by thermal generation."

Indo also said "What's to stop another country like Indonesia saying okay we will do the same and we will sell the energy cheaper than Australia can, or the countries you aim to export too creating their own renewable energy and saying sorry we don't need your energy anymore or you can try to compete in out market but the price is now half what you want.."

I absolutely agree that we don't know what other countries will do. Maybe this is the difference between being a follower and a leader. "Oh we aren't going to even try and develop this industry because SE Asia will just copy us and send us broke".
Perhaps Australia would benefit from Asian competition in developing these new technologies?

And sure some countries are more resource rich than others, and some can 'dig the stuff' out of the ground better than other countries, and cheaper too. Heck, Australians are friggin' experts at it .

And sending it overseas so we can import it back.

Ironically the key to producing hydrogen is that you have low-cost electricity. RE is that electricity.

If we want it to be.

As for profit per car, you are right that capitalism demands maximum profit and 20k sounds better than 10, and that's why off-shoring became the norm for Australian industries.

Nevertheless, I find it fascinating that people in the know with the financial/technologically/business nous are willing to give it a go. (Make aussie vehicles)
And base their development on a future energy source that is only just beginning to develop. Hydrogen.

So rather than look at it from the glass half empty perspective, the argument that Australia can be some renewable energy super power is not as hollow as some may believe.

This bloke reckons we could produce 700% more than we need. Sounds super to me.

https://reneweconomy.com.au/australia-could-aim-for-700-per-cent-renewab...