What’s going on round the Bend?
WE MAKE no apologies for today’s double-page spread on GM Holden. Some people have accused us of being biased, particularly when we point out Ford’s failings with its locally made Falcon and Territory, but a lot of people want to know what’s really happening at Fishermans Bend.
Holden has survived the giant purge that came when General Motors filed in the US for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but there is a lot more to come than a mere ‘‘jobs are safe’’ declaration.
Mark Reuss (right) has done a great job since he became chair- man. He makes a lot of sense as he talks about everything from the future of the Commodore to the financial situation at Holden.
But he really gets riled if you ask about the need for a car industry in Australia and the support the industry gets from Canberra.
‘‘We pay $420 million a year in R&D (research and development) . . . create almost 7000 jobs and we pay wages of $500 billion back into the economy every year,’’ Reuss says.
‘‘We make Commodore here and we pay a lot of wages here and we actually create a tax basis for the industry. That’s what manufacturing’s all about, it’s about making things.’’
He said he wasn’t sure it was looked at in the right way. It was a reinvestment in the scheme of things to make sure jobs paid back into the Australian tax basis.
‘‘It gets really negatively reported, unfortunately, by people who don’t really understand the dynamics of how the business creates value in Australia. It creates huge value,’’ he says.
‘‘If you don’t make cars and you don’t make wages, and people don’t make livings, you can’t really buy things.’’