The Holden circus!

Today there is an abundance of false emotions, stomping of tables and floors by theatrical agents. Yes, today the upcoming closure of Holden got announced. They are not the only one. Ford had already decided to stop in 2016 and Mitsubishi closed in 2008. Now, Holden will stop by the end of 2017. On an Island of 21.000.000, the three large makers get out. Is it a wonder? The economy is down by a lot! Buying cars is not on the mind of many. I get that there is enough space for one to exist, but do we really all need a new car?

This is not just about the economy; this is about need and offer. How viable is it to make cars? The initial idea that we need a car almost every year should have been abandoned year ago. The fact that we were hit by 0% finance deals should have been an indication. This is not just a view that is new. This has been going on for at least 2 administrations. It is so nice to see the amount of emotional lashing we are currently see on Sky News. It goes further. One mentioned that part of this had been known since 2007.

The one part I found most amusing was the speech by Paul Bastian. He is the National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU). Sky News reported “Paul Bastian blamed the government’s refusal to offer more assistance to Holden and called on the government to ‘come clean on its vision for manufacturing.’

This is in part the fault if the TPP. The TPP would allow for the American brand to be again an American brand, now through imports without severe import taxation, which is exactly what the TPP was meant to do. To be honest, this is the part I do not object to. In the end, if an American brand works from America, then that is how it is. If this is the way that American corporations need to operate, then that is just how it is. My issue with the TPP is and remains the unjust hijacking of innovation. This is not it. This is a business decision. I do not like it. Many Australians do not like it, but that is just how it is.

Getting back to Mr Bastian, I get that he is emotional, I get that he wants it to remain here and that the government should have ‘done more’. Are we to give Big Business a free ride? No! If one thing is a fact then perhaps that this is a signal for these Australians to sit down and create a new Australian brand. Get a national car, get the ideas together and create a new brand that could become the proud spearhead of an industry. Let us not forget that Holden (and Mitsubishi and Ford) have decided to walk away from 21 million potential customers. Germany had 10% of that when someone sat down, created the boxer engine and then made ‘Volkswagen’ a reality (by the way, the boxer engine would be the proud trademark of Porsche for decades). This literally translated into ‘car of the people’. With that they followed Citroen, who started 2 decades before that. These two would impact the automotive industry within 2 decades. So why look at General Motors holding your hand up like Oliver Twist asking for more?

Short and sweet? “Fuck ’em!

There is nothing stopping us from creating a generic engine with the Kiwi’s and create a car that has a decent level of appeal to almost 25 million people. (Aussies and Kiwi’s).

 

In addition, there should be great laughter rolling from the interview that Sky News showed in regards to the reasoning. Questions like ‘If Mr Hockey had…‘ is just preposterous initially. Yes, there might have been issues, but when you hear about a 1 billion commitment towards that big business, we need to start asking questions.

The short and sweet of it is that America is BANKRUPT! With 17 Trillion in debt they are talking about 80 billion in less spending. When you are down 17,000 billion, 80 billion is less than 0.5%. So finally America starts cleaning up its act by calling back business and making then tax accountable. Is that such a far stretch? I think not and I do not blame them for that step in any way. So is it such a stretch for an Australian to create a new local brand that will support OUR industry, OUR people and OUR economy? This is what innovation is all about. Yes, our car, if released in 2016 might lack all the comforts, but so did the French 2CV. That became the future of a billion euro company. Nothing stops us from redoing this. In the end, the economy forced big business back to their local ground. Yes, they might lose 25 million customers, but we could create a new economy, a new future and new innovation. I say we look forward!

All what we see now on TV is name and blame by people making a lot of money, whilst the facts had been around for a few years. Ask how those high paid analysts did not see this happening! I am not stating that politics are free of blame, but in the end, this is the choice of an American car giant (General Motors), a step that others, including Japan (Mitsubishi) had already made.

So when some make some theatrical show of 500 million getting pulled out, we need to ask ‘why on earth do they need 500 million?‘ How about we create a new brand? Will Toyota pull out? Perhaps not! If Toyota is all that remains, we have reason to JUST support Toyota.

Now, in all this, let me be clear that I am not an automotive expert, but to hear all these people claiming that ‘big business’ is waiting on more support by government is just ludicrous. Yes, perhaps it is a tragic day, but in the end, Mike Devereux has to represent General Motors. The opposition is all about slinging mud, but this had been going on for a long time, whilst THEY were in charge. So this, as it is decided in just a few months that the Liberals were in charge, they move away.

What a croc!

This had been planned for some time. Detroit, being a bankrupt city is on the verge of being removed from the map. The opposition knew that more was going on. To see

When ABC had this (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-05/holden-to-pull-out-of-australia-from-2016-17/5138942) the following quote was given “Holden says discussions with the Government on its future are continuing, and it says it does not respond to speculation.” this means that there was more and more was in play, and to see the blame by the opposition is just a joke. If we in addition consider the Herald Sun showing us thin almost a week ago (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/govt-opposition-deny-holden-pull-out-plan/story-fni0xqi4-1226776625199), we see that there are several sour apples in the barrel and there are some indications that it could be perceived that labour knew about much of this, but perhaps the game was played for future tax break endeavours.

 

In the end, I think that these acts are all about America needing now to desperately protect American futures (which I totally get), which is WHY the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) was so important to them; especially in light of export terms (not just the issues that the WTO discussed over the last month). We should also regard that this is only the beginning. Consider that Japan has equal financial pressures. What happens when Takeda Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd does the same? Will we get another emotional outbreak by Kim Carr? Will we get more number fidgeting (that is how I see it)? They all forget that such a step needs several months of considerations. This means that the start of this had already at a time when it was the Australian Labour government who was in charge and this should have been dealt with THEN!

Instead, Labour show them as playing the child tantrum, they should unite with the Liberals and open the doors for a new brand. Consider the consequences when General Motors needs to consider losing 25 million customers, almost 8% of the American population. Be clever, be innovative!

We, both Australians (and Brits too) have proven to be innovative. Now, the Americans have given us reason to be so quickly and clearly. Let us show them that we can get it done, preferably without needing 500 million more after a business had been established.

I am throwing down the gauntlet. Who is the innovative engineer ready to commit to his possible future Fortune 500 position?

 

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