Enthusiasm driving Carr
KIM Carr is the new godfather of the Australian motor industry, the man you definitely want on your side.
Senator Carr is the most impressive politician I have met on car business since the late Senator John Button in the early 1980s.
Button set the original review agenda for the car business and now Carr is driving the motor industry in the 21st century with a clear picture, incredible energy, and a genuine understanding of what it’s all about.
His enthusiasm was obvious this week as he helped open a new production line at Hella in Mentone, which will supply lamps for the update of the Toyota Camry and Aurion this year.
‘‘I’m only here as eye candy today, and I’ll let our hosts tell you about the plant and what it means for Hella, Toyota and Australia,’’ Carr says.
‘‘But I can’t pass up this opportunity to re-affirm the Government’s central messages about manufacturing.
‘‘First, that we want Australia to be a country that makes things. And, second, that we want it to be a country that makes cars.’’
That is great news for all in the motor industry and also Austral- ians who share a common history wrapped around the ability of the automobile to conquer the country’s vast distances.
Carr has found money and support for the industry but stress- es companies must also work together as part of his new ‘‘Car Plan’’.
‘‘The success of any industry depends on what companies do together — how much they can rely on each other and how closely they collaborate,’’ he says.
‘‘If anyone wants to know what a vigorous, creative and competitive Australian component sector would look like — well, it would look like this.
‘‘Hella delivers the inputs Toyota needs, at the right price, to the right standard and — as Toyota has taught every manufacturer in the world to say—‘just in time’.’’
It took the German-owned lighting specialist just nine months to get its new Kaizen line operational and global boss Dr Juergen Behrend says the benefits will flow well beyond the two founding partners.
He says: ‘‘What we have learned with Toyota will also benefit our other customers, like Ford and Holden.’’
New line: (from left) Hella chairman and president Dr Juergen Behrend, Senator Kim Carr and Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda.