Australian car production has slumped to a low of 225,713 vehicles produced in 2009, a staggering 100,000 fewer cars than 2008. The high Australian dollar has hindered the already diminished demand from foreign importers in the US and Middle East. On top of this local producers are hurting from the recent tariff cut that has lowered foreign importers costs considerably.
These combined factors mean local producers will be relying heavily on tax-payer funded assistance in the coming year, with $6.2 billion dollars in assistance being placed aside. With foreign importers becoming more competitive, Chamber of Automotive Industry Chief Andrew McKellar has stated that the recovery of the export market will be a ‘crucial factor’ for local producer’s health in 2010.
Industry Minister Kim Carr was looking for the silver lining, saying that although production had halved, local producers had fared better than their international counterparts as no companies had gone broke. Yet again financial figures are pointing towards a roller-coaster year for the Australian Automotive industry.