Helping car manufacturers

Created on Tuesday, March 31, 2009.
Filed under .

Dearest reader, you might have heard about the Motor Traders’ Association in NSW proposing an old-car buyback scheme to the Australian Federal Government. Similar to the schemes in Germany, France and Brazil, the proposal is to scrap cars that are older than ten years old (that is, inefficient and polluting cars) and award the owner with a $3,000 rebate on buying a brand new car. The above-listed countries showed an immediate increase in new car sales and a boost in economy upon adopting such a scheme.

This leaves the vast majority of drivers boned since they do not want to or cannot afford to drop an extra AU$10,000 at least on a new car, plus registration, plus insurance. Even if they could afford it, it’s rather unwise to get into debt because we are on the cusp of what could be another Great freakin’ Depression.

So why not follow the Indian example? A bit over a week ago Tata Motors launched the Nano, the cheapest production car in the world. It is a four-passenger city car and costs around AU$3,000 brand new. The car is expected to boost the Indian economy by 65%.

Now instead of simply throwing money at Holden and hoping they make it through, or buying back old clunkers and subsidising the purchase of new (and overseas-made) cars which are too expensive in any case, why doesn’t Holden begin producing a super-cheap car of its own?

As long as Holden doesn’t make a half-assed car that goes the way of the Yugo, I can’t think of a single reason why any sane person would drive their clunky old sweatbox instead. There is certainly a market for cheap, reliable and efficient cars. A cheap car produced here and sold here would increase Holden’s market share, boost car manufacturing employment and, if the Government decided to institute an old car buyback scheme, it would keep that money within the Australian economy while getting rid of old, polluting cars. If Government wanted to buy my 14-year old Excel for $3,000 and Holden was selling a new car for $3,000-6,000 then, well, do I really need to think about it?

Personally I would like a three-door hatchback with air conditioning and power steering. I don’t care if the car is small because I, like most people, drive alone, and more spacious models can be produced soon after. There should be a diesel version because although diesel is more expensive, it offers better fuel economy.

I would also like two sun visors for the driver, since the sun rarely comes from just one position.

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2018.