Did Holden set up news timing?

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3 November 2011

Did Holden set up news timing?
... could we be seeing the start of a protracted strategic withdrawal from Ford and Holden ...

Don't you love the way Holden's PR machine handles bad news - namely the possible end of a locally designed Commodore - by preceding it with good news the day before.

In this case it was a feel good yarn about the restoration of the first 48-215 Holden, built in 1948 and owned by legendary BHP boss Essington Lewis. Clever, but we saw straight through it.

Cynics might suggest Holden is simply kite flying to see how much heat a possible end of local large car production might bring. And there's been plenty already from all quarters, including government and unions.

Is it pure chance that Ford is hinting at something similar in a similar time frame - canning local production of Aussie designed (and built) six cylinder rear wheel drive sedans to be replaced by rejigged front wheel drive American imports. In Holden's case the donor country could even be Korea.

After Mitsubishi's "death by a thousand cuts'' withdrawal from local production, could we be seeing the start of a protracted strategic withdrawal from Ford and Holden - a PR campaign aimed at letting us down slowly (but surely). Or is it a case of sabre rattling to scare up more subsidies.

Neither Holden nor Ford would be happy with the Federal Government when the Green Car Fund was boned. It was essentially a bribe paid to the Australian car industry to maintain car production in this country.

The Green Car sweetener cost tax payers tens of millions of dollars for which they get Aussie jobs. Naturally, all profits are repatriated to parent companies in the US and Japan.

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Written by

Peter Barnwell

Published 3 November 2011