Stuff the local industry, just give us cheaper cars!

Port Kembla

The Australian Automobile Association hasn’t wasted any time shedding tears for the demise of Australia’s car making industry. No, they’re starting the call for making our imported cars cheaper.

To be fair the AAA has anointed itself to represent “the interests of all Australian motorists nationally and internationally” and so giving too much thought to the origin of the cars we drive isn’t too high on its agenda. Just make them bloody cheaper!

Firmly in the AAA’s sights are the last few dregs of import tariffs charged on imported vehicles. Unsurprisingly, it is the Australian public’s thirst for imported vehicles—which nobody really wants to mention while crying over the spilt milk left by Ford, Holden and now Toyota as they get set to march their token manufacturing operations off shore—that’s a real nail in the coffin for local assembly lines.

Last year 90% of all new vehicles sold were imported; as the saying goes, money talks and bullshit walks. As a result the AAA says now is the time to lift tariffs.

“With local manufacturing coming to an end it is only fair that tariffs on imported vehicles must also stop,” said Andrew McKellar, AAA Chief Executive. “If tariffs were designed to help protect the local industry then there is no longer any justification to maintain them.”

“The removal of tariffs could save the average new car buyer between one and two thousand dollars on the cost of a vehicle,” Mr McKellar added. “The Government must use the upcoming Federal Budget to announce the end of vehicle import tariffs in order to improve motoring affordability.”

We think the people cheering the loudest over this call to arms will not be the public, but the car dealerships who will, of course, pass on any savings to the buying public. Wink, wink.

Motorists call for immediate end to vehicle import tariffs

12 February 2014 – The peak national motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has called for the immediate end to vehicle tariffs following the announcement that vehicle manufacturing will cease in Australia, in a bid to improve motoring affordability.

“With local manufacturing coming to an end it is only fair that tariffs on imported vehicles must also stop,” AAA Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

Nine out of ten new vehicles sold in Australia during 2013 were imported.

“If tariffs were designed to help protect the local industry then there is no longer any justification to maintain them,” he said.

“The removal of tariffs could save the average new car buyer between one and two thousand dollars on the cost of a vehicle,” Mr McKellar said.

“The Government must use the upcoming Federal Budget to announce the end of vehicle import tariffs in order to improve motoring affordability,” he said.