Happy New Year to all, I hope you had a safe and enjoyable holiday break. I also hope 2017 is a winner for you.
Unfortunately for the Australian car manufacturing industry 2017 is the end…. R.I.P. All manufacturing of cars on a large scale will cease this year with Holden, Ford Australia, Toyota and Mitsubishi closing down their assembly plants and only importing cars.
The police force will be getting around in American or Japanese models, the showrooms will be full of cars with badges we recognise but the designs will be all foreign. Indicators will be on the wrong side, dashboard lights that just don’t makes sense and seat warmers, very handy on the North Coast! Holden are thinking about importing a front wheel drive large hatchback and calling it a Commodore, I’m pretty sure that won’t cut it! What a sad time.
OK, I understand that the modern day has made domestic manufacturing non-viable but let’s just pause for a second and think about the pride our country has in our cars. The Commodore, Falcon, Torana, Kingswood, Monaro, Charger, Regal and even the Sigma, all built here in Oz. Who amongst us remembers either buying one of these classics yourself or maybe dad bringing one home from the showroom? What a great day it was! A piece of Australia in the driveway to show off to the neighbours.
These cars will quickly become collectors models and as the numbers dwindle, the values will increase. Future generations will only see them at car shows or in museums and they’ll say ‘How come people bought these cars? They don’t even have Bluetooth’. The older ones in the crowd will have fond memories of cruising through the drive thru, windows down in their Aussie classic, ‘Three meal deals thanks, no pickles on mine’.
Our only hope is that somewhere in Australia, gathered in a small suburban shed is a bunch of like minded people designing the next great car. A car that will push the Aussie industry back into gear (pun intended) and drive (I did it again) us into the future.