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Holden boss says Aussie car industry will stand and fight


Mark Reuss, says the Australian government’s Carr plan gives the Aussie motor industry the ability to stand and fight for survival in the world financial crisis

Reuss, Holden boss, was addressing this week’s FCAI 2008 Supplier of the Year dinner.

“I'm not one for doom and gloom, I'm all for standing and fighting for Australian operations,” Reuss said. “We find ourselves in this situation together as original equipment manufacturers and suppliers and we're in it together – for the long haul.”

He said that when the government was planning the $Au6.2 million bail-out package, it put a very high focus on suppliers, not only manufacturers. “That demonstrates that we’re intrinsically linked. One can’t live without the other. We simply have to make this work together.

“And despite all the gloomy talk about the current environment, the global factors have potential upside as well as downside in the medium term. In the next few months, stronger Yen will make local original equipment manufacturers and suppliers much more competitive. Importers will (probably give) preference to locally-built products.

“Australia's ability to ride out the global situation as a robust economy could enable us to move quicker when recovery kicks in. I have been overwhelmed by the clear signals sent by the Prime Minister, Mr Rudd, and the Industry Minister, Mr Carr. The PM says he wants to lead a country that makes things and I couldn’t agree with (him) more.”

“I firmly believe that our industry can get through this, and we can get through it stronger than we have been before. There’s been far too much invested in this world class industry for it to be thrown away because of a short-term challenge.

“This is not the time to give in. It's time to break new ground. We’ve been given clear direction from the Rudd Government to innovate more and offer Australians greener cars.

“We’ve been given $6.2 billion to share as an industry, stimulating what we have called a decade of innovation. It’s a major redirection for the government and the most tangible guidance yet to redefine what we are as an industry.”

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