AUSTRALIA: Parts maker succumbs to Asian competition - paper
A Victoria state car parts factory has become a victim of lower cost Asian competition, but state premier Steve Bracks insists the future of the industry in the state is bright, a newspaper said on Thursday.
According to The Age, Bracks said Coghlan and Russell Engineering in Geelong was a victim of a global competitive market.
Administrators PPB failed to find a buyer for the company and placed it in liquidation on Thursday, owing about $A1.5m to its 55 staff, the paper added.
The Age said the workers were the latest in a growing list of automotive staff in Victoria to be stood down after about 75 jobs were lost at Empire Rubber in Bendigo in central Victoria earlier this year.
Last year, General Motors' Australian unit Holden announced the shedding of 200 jobs from its engine assembly operation at Port Melbourne, Ford cut 640 jobs from its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants, and jobs were also lost at car part makers Huon Corporation and Ajax Engineered Fasteners, the newspaper said.
However, Bracks reportedly said Victoria's automotive industry would survive.
"Geelong's employment market is actually growing, the car industry generally is going well but there are some component parts which are under pressure, cost pressure because their competition internationally is very, very severe, very tough and very hard," Bracks was quoted as saying by The Age.
"From time to time there'll be industries which are knocked out because of, regrettably, competition elsewhere.
"We will stand by the workforce and employees in that case but I think the car industry generally has a bright future."
He reportedly added that Victoria had the research and design capacity to secure the industry for the long term.
According to The Age, the business had been temporarily propped up by Ford and Delphi, which supplies Holden, under a $1m rescue package accepted in April.
State opposition leader Ted Baillieu said the car industry was essential to Victoria's economic strength and the government needed to be transparent about the help it was offering, the newspaper added.