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Tuesday, 9 December 1986
Page: 3589

Senator SHORT —Has the attention of the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce been drawn to the article on page 1 of today's Australian Financial Review, which is based on an article in last Sunday's Japanese newspaper Daily Yomiuri, claiming that the Nissan and Ford motor companies are headed for a merger of their operations in Australia? Does the Minister have further information on this report? Was the proposal discussed with him during his recent visit to Japan? What would be the implications of such a merger for the motor vehicle industry in Australia and for the Government's motor vehicle plan?

Senator BUTTON —The article in the front of the Australian Financial Review is couched in speculative terms, I think it is fair to say. It does not allege any hard facts about such discussions. I have no further information of any substance about such discussions. Of course, the Government would welcome and has welcomed discussions of various kinds between companies which are necessary to produce the results envisaged by the car plan.