Australia’s engineers have urged all car industry players to come together to produce a bipartisan plan to reinvigorate our automotive industry and keep the benefits flowing to the whole economy.
CEO of APESMA, Chris Walton, said despite the Ford announcement today Australia’s automotive industry would have a positive future if the community, governments, unions and manufacturers wanted it to thrive.
“Everyone needs to come together, including Ford, to keep our car industry strong,” Mr Walton said.
“Australians help their mates in times of trouble and now that the automotive industry is facing its biggest challenge yet we should be prepared to roll up our sleeves to get our car industry moving again.
“While some small minded people appear happy to see the end of government subsidies for Ford, they fail to fully appreciate the benefits all Australians get from a healthy, thriving automotive manufacturing sector.
“Those who are echoing Mitt Romney and suggesting that we let our auto industry die are willing to sacrifice innovative jobs.
“Car jobs are smart jobs. Many engineers get their on-the-job training and absorb the culture of technical innovation that the Australian automotive industry is now famous for. The benefits of that innovation flow through to every Australian industry, creating thousands of jobs and keeping Australia at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and design.
“Most Australians know that we cannot simply rely on our fluctuating mining boom – we need a strong and diverse economy to maintain our high standard of living.
“If Australians and their governments back the car industry we can get through these tough times and keep Australia innovative and strong.
“This is a very sad day for thousands of Ford manufacturing workers and the many thousands more who work in Australia’s component manufacturing industry. We will be working with Ford employees, the company and governments to help current workers bring their outstanding skills to new jobs.”
“While we note that Ford’s announcement today doesn’t directly alter its product development centre of excellence which employs most of its engineers, we are concerned for some engineers and technical professionals who work in the manufacturing side of the business.”
Australia’s engineers also urged the Australian public to buy Aussie designed and produced cars following the announcement by Ford Australia that they would cease their local manufacturing operations in 2016.
Mr Walton said Australian cars were designed and engineered for Australian conditions and new models would prove to be very popular if they were chosen on their merits.
“By all means consider all the options, but car buyers should realise that Australia’s talented engineers design and produce some of the very best cars available anywhere in the world,” Mr Walton said.