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Australia's car buyers continue strike

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Media Release

Ian McLachlan

Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce 90/92


Australia's new car buyers who continued their purchasing strike last month were further evidence of a stagnating car market, the Shadow Minister for Industry Ian McLachlan said today.

Mr McLachlan said a further fall in the number of new car registrations in October reflected the community's gloomy outlook in the continuing recession.

'The car market has been sluggish for 15 years - it desperately needs confident buyers; people who are in work.

'But it is pretty hard for the million people who are out of work to buy a car at all, never mind a new car.

'Only the Coalition has the plan which will begin to rebuild consumer and business confidence which will see cheaper cars that cost less to run so that more new cars are sold.

'Both the car industry, consumers and the environment will be the winners.

Mr McLachlan said the average age of cars in Australia was close to 10 years because Australians were making do with much older cars that were less safe, used too much fuel and were less fuel efficient.

'From 1988 to 1991 the number of new cars sold in the United States per thousand head of population was 39; in Switzerland it was 47 and in the United Kingdom it was 35 per head. In Australia, the average number of new cars sold between those three years - 1988 to 1991 - was 26 per thousand people, a great deal lower than the average of any of the other OECD countries.

'The Labor Party has produced a climate of gloom and doom which is reflected in today's declining figures which sadly follow uncertainty in the housing, retail and building industries.

'Confidence in this country by both consumers and industry is non existent and today's vehicle registration figures are an unfortunate reflection of the pervasive level of despondency.

Further information: Ian McLachlan Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce Telephone: 06 2772039. 25 November, 1992. COMMONWEALTH