Massive layoffs at Australia’s three major car-making plants are likely as the Coronavirus dramatically cuts crucial component deliveries from China, the virus’s epicentre.
This grim warning was issued by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night via ABC TV’s major 7pm news bulletin.
“It’s affecting the building industry; it’s affecting the manufacturing industry,” a grim-faced PM warned as the bulletin put up a full-screen image of one of Australia’s state-of- the-art, internationally competitive car-making plants (images at top).
It is a little known fact that Chinese factories have historically supplied all the distinctive metal stubbie holders that have been an essential feature of the consoles of Australian-made car models for some decades. Up to the 1980s, they were made in Japan.
The Bug’s reporting staff overnight tried to update the story on just how many workers across the nation’s car-manufacturing industry are at risk of potentially lengthy standdowns as the supply of stubbie holders dries up, as well as all those who work locally in the industry’s supply chain for automobile components.
Unfortunately, our calls to Toyota’s Altona plant south-west of Melbourne, General Motors Holden’s production plant in Elizabeth, South Australia and Ford Australia’s engine and vehicle plants in Geelong all went unanswered.