Auto Industry Plan announced in Australia

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PM Kevin Rudd announced on 10 November a $6.2 billion plan to make the Australian automotive industry more economically and environmentally sustainable by 2020.

 

It includes an expanded $1.3 billion Green Car Innovation Fund – where the Australian Government matches industry investment in green cars on a $1 dollar to $3 dollar basis over 10 year period from 2009.

 

The Green Car Plan will provide:

• A better-targeted, greener, Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS), from 2011 to 2020 ($3.4 billion).

• Changes to the Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme in 2010 ($79.6 million).

• Promotion of structural adjustment through consolidation in the components sector ($116.3 million).

• Support for suppliers’ improved integration in complex national and global supply chains ($20 million).

• Enhanced market access program ($6.3 million).

• A new Automotive Industry Innovation Council.

 

Automotive tariffs will be cut to 5 per cent, giving Australia the third-lowest tariff regime among economies with a well-developed automotive industry. Australia will continue to pursue a free trade agenda because the future of the industry lies in innovation and global integration. PM Rudd said only 15 countries in the world can design, engineer and build a car from scratch, and Australia is determined to maintain that capacity.

 

(Laura Tingle, political editor for the Australian Financial Review, says the Plan is “sloppy, badly constructed, fiscally negligent, irresponsible, protectionist, irrational appeasement of rent seekers, which is now being camouflaged not only as a response to climate change but the global financial crisis.”  Whew – where’s the blood pressure tablets for Laura? We are taking an optimistic view of the Plan, and integrating our companies into global supply chains is the only option – Editor)

 

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