We spoke to Rare Spares Ambassador and Racing Legend, John Bowe about the future of the automotive industry in Australia and the end of Australian car manufacturing.
“I wouldn’t class myself as an expert, but I’ve had a full motoring life and I think it’s quite sad that we’re not going to have any manufacturing here anymore, because some of the cars that Ford and Holden have produced have been seriously iconic Australian cars,” said Bowe.
“All these problems started years and years ago and have been perpetuated by the following governments, so it was inevitable that this was going to happen.”
"Once Holden and Ford have declared their hands, Toyota ultimately wouldn’t have any choice, because the fringe industries which unfortunately are going to suffer a great deal of job loss, can’t sustain with one manufacturer. It’s like a stack of cards unfortunately. I have a lot of compassion for the people involved.”
“It’s my opinion that there will still be growth in the Australian car market and companies such as Ford and Holden and Toyota will become more profitable.”
“There will still be an aftermarket. In the last five to seven years there has been a bit of a change in our culture about which type of cars we drive. We have a massive choice of cars in Australia, so the aftermarket will always be there. It’s a changing scene for sure, but there will always be an aftermarket.”
“Rare Spares will probably see some growth, because cars that have been Australian and have a place in people’s hearts will be being restored more, so I can see this market going up.”
“I think the tariff will probably stay as it is. I can’t see much changing, except for higher unemployment rates. The government is charged with developing other industries that these people can be employed in.”
“The car industry isn’t going to be there anymore and it makes me sad, but I’m not surprised.”
“The level of interest in restorations now is increasing because everyone that loves cars realises that we aren’t going to have Australian Falcon’s or Commodores, and the cars of the 80’s are now going to become restorable.”
“Where it used to be the 50’s and 60’s and then slowly became the 70’s, this is going to bring forward the 80’s cars like the XE Falcons and VK Commodores. People will be restoring them because they are part of our history.”