A second new Ford Territory found its way into our family during January. We thought our Territory was such a good Australian-made car that we were quick to recommend it to other family members.
Our cupboard has SPC tomatoes, baked beans, preserved fruit, and some Ardmona cans too.
Before I have my Australian-made halo fall off, I need to confess that I waited until SPC and Ardmona were on “special”, and stocked up while the price was cheap.
I was just a bit taken aback to find that some of my SPC tomatoes were actually made in the good old US. But of course, Coca Cola Amatil is a multinational company, so what can we expect?
However, I’d reckon that in most pantries the cans of tomatoes would be the much cheaper Italian variety.
Shoppers in Griffith might care, but most customers would simply pick up their oranges and move on.
Consumers make choices. It would be a safe bet that many people reading this story did not choose an Australian-made Commodore, Falcon, Territory, or Camry when they were buying a car.
I have to admit that I considered a few imported brands before I settled on the Territory.
In Australia we are spoilt for choice. We have more models on the Australian market than are on offer in the US.
So whether we’re talking cars or canned fruit, it’s us, the consumers, who are closing the factories.
It’s us, not making the choice to buy Australian-made.
It’s us who are closing-down motor vehicle manufacturing in Australia.
And if Australian consumers don’t demand SPC, it will be us who will cause the SPC cannery to close.
It’s not the government, it’s not lack of government handouts, it’s us not demanding Australian-made.
We should also remember that the overseas parent companies of Ford and Holden had to severely restructure during the GFC.
Detroit these days is a ghost city that has filed for bankruptcy. President Obama gave a lifeline to American manufacturers, but demanded vastly changed labour relations in return.
In contrast, Australian Toyota workers were asked just a few weeks ago to reopen their wages case. The union refused. Toyota announced closure.
Nissan (1992) and Mitsubishi (2008) closed under Labor governments. Ford announced closure in Labor’s time, despite government funds being offered to assist tooling so the imported Focus could be manufactured in Australia.
The latest pay rise at Holden comes as the government is expected to continue multi-million dollar grants to support out-dated work practices.
Only our union leaders couldn’t see this coming. The Banana Republic is almost here.