Maybe the Australian domestic auto industry won’t remain in shambles?
It wasn’t that long ago Australia made some interesting and many respectable cars which its citizens adored. Sure, Holden was owned by American auto giant GM and the Aussie-specific Fords were still connected in a way to the company here, but they were still symbols of pride for those Down Under. Today, the Australian market is flooded with brands from China, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Europe, and North America, something the federal government might be wanting to change.
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That’s right, Australia might start making its own cars again, although they’ll be a far cry from the muscle cars and utes from yesteryear. Per a report from Australian automotive site Drive, the government has released a consultation paper for its National Electric Vehicle Strategy, which includes providing citizens with cheaper battery-electric cars.
If you don’t know, vehicles in Australia are incredibly expensive. One of the justifications used for the ridiculous costs is that it’s an island nation, so everything must be shipped in and often at great distances. Not all Aussies believe this line, but this fact is why so many have turned to cheap Chinese cars. With the current geopolitical atmosphere, that’s not a great strategy moving forward.
To provide these cheaper EVs, the recommendation in that consultation paper is to increase local manufacturing of vehicles. Reportedly, the federal government is trying to scheme up ways to lure automakers to operate factories on the island once more.
Of course, everyone immediately thinks of Tesla. After all, it’s still the dominant brand in the fledgling EV market and it’s been expanding aggressively, putting factories in Germany and China. However, the Australian government could easily approach Ford and GM about reopening their operations in the country, considering they’ve only been absent for several years.
What seems certain is that Chinese automakers won’t be approached. While some Chinese automakers have been expanding operations beyond the Middle Kingdom, like BAIC Group establishing a facility in South Africa, considering the incredible tension between the CCP and Australian government, it’s doubtful such an arrangement would be made.
Images via GM