Car industry quip paints a chilling picture

The Holden assembly line.
The Holden assembly line. GM Corp

A LEADING corporate forecaster has made a quip at a Brisbane conference that likely sent a shiver through Australia's automobile manufacturers.

IBISWorld founder and chairman Phil Ruthven was the keynote speaker at the Queensland Major Projects Conference in Brisbane.

As he worked through his stream of PowerPoint slides, Mr Ruthven examined long and short-term trends in Australia's growth, employment levels and industry importance.

In a passing comment he said that if Australia lost the jobs associated with car making in Australia, "it would only take two months to recover all the jobs lost".

He said he was not heartless but wanted "to see unemployment come down, and that comes from supporting industries that employ people not sacks them".

Car makers are currently pursuing subsidies from the Federal Government but Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane is waiting on the outcome of an examination by the Productivity Commission.

Topics:  business car manufacturing unemployment

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