We have certainly noticed a shift over the last decade when it comes to the automotive industry – the direction that it’s heading in, why, and how long before it gets there. In Australia in particular, we have been hit hard. Automotive Manufacturing has been clobbered over the head with a mallet, with factories shutting down and significant job losses in Geelong, Adelaide and Melbourne. The future of Ford, Holden and Toyota remains undefined.
So where are we headed? Well, offshore manufacturing is the obvious first substantiation. This is only a matter of time as the big car companies continue to bleed dollars. But there are other directions that we are headed in within the Automotive Industry, and if Australia keeps up, we just might be able to adapt.
The ‘Green’ Effect
As the greens continue to lobby and ‘global warming’ not fading from the agenda, there are ever-increasing demands for efficient engines and more modern technology to fight the offset of carbon. With this said, the need for scientists and engineers to design these engine’s is now. Australia has some of the best scientists and Engineers in the world. Channeling this to create jobs in the technological sector can keep Australia on the map.
The ‘Urbanised World’
I have been to Bangkok, Manilla and Shanghai. If everyone drove pickup trucks in those cities then you would never get to work (there’s an idea). Urban sprawls are popping up everywhere, and with that is traffic congestion and the need for smaller, more accommodating vehicles. From Australia’s point of view – utilizing R&D for more innovative type of designs and features may again enhance there chances of longevity.
The ‘Car owners dream’
People want the full kit and caboodle in their new vehicle. Bluetooth, leather seats and Sat Nav are a thing of the past. If you don’t have the internet, someone speaking to you and a machine actually parking for you, then you don’t have what they want. This is part and parcel with technology advancements – Australia just needs to get in first.
It makes it hard for Austraila to survive when Japan can produce the some outputs for far less inputs due to foreign trade agreements. The industry is now cemented in economies of scale. Parts are cheaper to buy in china and quicker to send to japan. Unfortunately Australian wages are extremely high on the world-stage too. Its not an even playing-field.
As we hit 2020, we will see more of the ECar, a completely self-sustained car that runs of electricity and not gas, eliminating pollution. The verdict is still out on what Australia can do with this.
Australia needs to act now, we are staring at the face of 40,000 job losses across 3 major cities. The future for the car industry is now and we need to adapt to changing times in order to survive. And if we don’t, the stats are damning –
* Our GDP would be $7.3billion dollars less
* Foreign Investment would discontinue
* Employment levels would plummet
Act now Australia.