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Electorate talk



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EMBARGO: 6:00 pm

Jj. AUSTRALIA,,.> -

PRIiVIE M IN IS T E R

FOR PRESS : 11 MARCH 1979

ELECTORATE TALK .

One of the most exciting'industrial projects of the present time is the development of the world car. The world automotive industry is going through a period of dramatic change which will intensify throughout the 1980's. Increasing costs, together with demand for more fuel . efficient vehiclesare encouraging integration of operations

and the use of common vehicle components on a world basis.

The world car concept involves production by related companies in different countries of cars with common design factors. Over the next decade, the industry will be putting a huge effort into the design and production of smaller, lighter and more,fuel efficient cars. , ■ . .

Front wheel drive, transverse enginestogether with electronic parts will become common. "Production of component modules -- such as traris-axles, engines and ignition equipment — will take· place in-specialised facilities. , They will be produced

on a scale designed to minimise costs. These facilities will be located throughout the world, where the best comparative advantages can be obtained.

With five manufacturers operating in a small market the Australian industry has lacked access to scale economies and opportunities for specialisation. This has inhibited productivity and quality improvements and has limited the

ability of Australian manufacturers to compete in both domestic . and export markets. .

The Australian vehicle industry needs to respond to the new challenge. Their product must be attractive to the Australian market compared with imports, less costly to produce in Australia, and have greater export potential.

The .best way the industry can ensure its future prosperity is to reduce costs and increase competitiveness through large scale export activities. Australia is responding to these challenges with its entry into the world car scheme. General Motors-Hoiden, for example, is planning a $210 million four- cylinder engine complex in Victoria. This new plant will be

one of four such plants throughout the world producing engines for a world car. .

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It is great news for. Australia that two-thirds· of the: output of the Australian plant will be exported: to Europe. . I am confident that this is only the first stage and that other sectors of the Australian motor vehicle industry will follow in this export drive. . .

Today, there is a high standard of design and craftsmanship in our motor Vehicle industry. We are building world-class products — and for that Australian workmen and Australian engineers can take a good deal of pride.

Some changes have been made to the Government's motor vehicle, plan to encourage these new developments·. The· Government has approved these changes because it believes the longer-term viability and competitiveness of the local industry will be

enhanced and cheaper cars offered to consumers. On top of that it will result in greater work security for more employees than would otherwise be the case. . ....··

The Government has: made many other moves in the past few years to assist Australian firms to get into export. We have . introduced a new Export Expansion Grant Scheme, improved the Export Market Development Grant Scheme, extended the

service offered by the Export Finance Insurance Corporation, established an Overseas Projects Corporation, . and up-graded the general services provided b y the Department of·Trade

and Resources to individual exporters. But the. greatest . · incentive the Government has given exporters has been to reduce inflation. ■ .

Australian firms are now competing successfully in some of the world's toughest markets. They are exporting to markets that would have been nothing more than, a dot on the map a few years ago„ We are now more competitive than at any

time during the last seven years. This export activity will benefit every Australian. It builds on confidence, assists general economic recovery and provides, a basis for . creation of new job opportunities. Our involvement in '

the world car scheme deserves the strongest community support.

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