In the ‘Tiser today is a storey about the closure of Holdens that is more sobering than we have to date been prepared to admit.
The storey goes that the newly appointed head of General Motors international operations, Stefan Jacoby, says he is the man who pulled the trigger on Holden’s factory closures – and that no amount of government money was going to save them. Full interview at the link.
No amount of money is going to prevent the closures.
I always felt this was the case having some knowledge of the history of car manufacturing in the States over the 100 years. This is why I was very receptive to the comments at Unley’s last Business Breakfast by Mike Heard, a member of the Premier’s Science & Industry Council.
He painted the picture that Australia needs to be turning it’s focus and should have some time back away from the assembly end of manufacturing. He explained that the rewards at this end of the manufacturing process was the least of any stage of the process. Australia he claims need to be focusing on the front end, the design of new products and getting them to market, using the manufacturing capacity we have.
When the product becomes popular enough for high production rates we then ship it off (the assembly that is) to those best geared for that end and move onto the next product.
I truly hope or Governments, State & Federal take on this paradigm and give it the credence it deserves.
Unfortunately this will be a 20 year program, educating our next generation to be the people that will make this work. We DO in the meantime need temporary solutions that can allow our current workforce to either retrain into these new opportunities or find other meaningful employment until these opportunities present themselves.