Australian brake parts supplier PBR is to axe 80 workers, prompting unions to call for the federal government to intervene to save the nation's automotive industry.

The news of 80 jobs going in Melbourne followed news the previous day that 40 workers would be sacked at another city parts company, Unidrive.

Ford, also based in Melbourne, last week said it would seek 350 voluntary redundancies at its engine and car assembly plants

In June, almost 600 jobs were lost when South Pacific Tyres announced it would close its factory in Melbourne at the end of the year, news agency AAP noted.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) Victorian secretary Steve Dargavel said PBR was moving some brake calliper work to the US.

GM Australian unit Holden said in June it would stop producing four-cylinder engines at its Melbourne plant, and Mitsubishi closed its assembly operations in Adelaide last March.

The newly elected Labour federal government's recent national automotive review recommended car import tariffs be cut from 10 to 5% in 2010 but unions are calling for this not to happen.

Dargavel told AAP there was no political or economic case to halve the country's car tariffs when the Australian dollar was strong.