Business

Australian icons leave scene over protracted time

GOOD TIMES: The Holden Commodore was introduced at a time of healthy vehicle manufacture.
GOOD TIMES: The Holden Commodore was introduced at a time of healthy vehicle manufacture. GM

FOOTBALL, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars!

The football the song writers had in mind in the seventies was Aussie Rules.

Now the mighty AFL, the negative press centring on payments, drugs, king hits and racism in the sport seems endless.

Meat pies have been replaced by Yankee burgers on sugary, insipid buns, not bread rolls, as our favoured method of tracking towards a heart attack.

And Holden cars well you now know where they're going to. That leaves kangas as the only unsullied Aussie icon - as long as you don't speak to farmers having to contend with the awful damage they do.

The Commodore's passing is particularly sad for me as I finally succumbed to its attraction after 43 years of buying ridiculously expensive imported vehicles from Germany, Italy, Great Britain and Japan.

And my 3.6L V6 with skirts that give it a sporty look has been just great.

The car has travelled 92,000km mainly between Brisbane and Gladstone on that disgraceful dog track called the Bruce Hwy.

The bodywork wears the scars and those of a couple of silly car park bingles, but for a very large car, driven hard, the Commodore has averaged 9.3L per 100km and there is not a squeak or rattle anywhere.

They say the new VF model is even better offering punters the most advanced technology ever provided in an Aussie-built car.

But the Commodore had to go: simply because Australians haven't been buying them.

In 2011 when I bought mine, I was one of just 41,429 people who did so - 12% down on 2010.

The Aussie icon was actually pipped by the little Mazda 3 by 812 sales. An even worse fate befell the Falcon and Aussie-built Toyota Camry. Ford sold just 18,741 units, Toyota 19,169.

The debate will rage, probably for half a generation, as to whether the car industry in Australia should have been be propped up by government. Senator John Button thought so in the 1980s when he shelled out enormous amounts of money and installed protective tariffs to keep the industry afloat. Something that I for one thought was more than a little odd given the economic tenet of the Hawke government was to open Australia up to competition.

Of course, the Hawke government was trying a balancing act between the unions and capital at the time and one of the strongest unions around was the AMWU, the very one blamed today for having too much say in how the car industry was run, having negotiated unrealistically high worker rewards in loss-making

businesses.

I caught former Labor strongman and latterly media commentator Graham Richardson the other day. His view is interesting.

He reckons governments should not prop up old-world industry, but concentrate its efforts on fostering new-age industries with future

prospects.

I inferred that he was saying forget building cars and concentrate on supplying the world with componentry. An interesting concept threatened in reality by high wages and a high dollar, I should think.

Topics:  bob lamont cars news holden



15 jobs up for grabs for tradies and labourers

READY TO WORK: Here are 15 jobs you can apply for today.

CQ companies have continued the call for workers.

'Exposed': Power companies, State MP hit back at smelter cuts

Boyne Smelters general manager operations Joe Rea announced job cuts due to increased power prices.

Politicians war of words over BSL's call to cut jobs and production.

'Refused': State MP says smelter had "ample” time to save jobs

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher pins a white ribbon on Boyne Smelters General Manager Joe Rea at a community function.

Glenn Butcher says BSL were "rolling the dice” for past two years

Local Partners

The best of SUNfest on show

SUNfest 2017 wraps up on Friday night with showcase event.


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

11 huge events coming to Gladstone in the next 6 months

Events coming up in Gladstone in 2017.

Your guide to exciting events coming to the Gladstone region

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

'Hot, sweaty, wild' Barnsey here on Saturday

Jimmy Barnes will be performing at Marley Brown Oval tomorrow.

"Hot, sweaty, wild”: Barnsey's in Gladstone

Jimmy Barnes Gladstone show not a sell out

Jimmy Barnes will be performing in Gladstone on Saturday at the Harvey Road Tavern.

PLENTY of tickets still available

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Gladstone market's confidence coming back for 2017

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 16.7% to $275,000 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 16.7% to $275,000

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!