Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Ford has been a major player in the Australian car industry for 87 years now but the American automotive giants have announced that they will be shutting down its auto plants in Geelong and Broadmeadows.

The reason for closure has been attributed to the drop in local car sales and rising operational costs.  Ford president, Bob Graziano, announced that the company had lost $141 million over the last financial year itself.

He also said, “Our costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times Ford in Asia. The business case simply did not stack up, leading us to the conclusion that manufacturing is not viable in Australia in the long term. “

Australian automotive buyers have been looking at import cars as an alternative to higher priced local cars. Cheaper overseas manufacturing costs also means that manufacturers are able to sell their cars at lower prices. On top of that, the low tariff (5%) imposed on imported cars also contributes to the fact that more foreign automobiles are landing on Australian shores.

There was once a time when Holden and Ford dominated the domestic car industry but in recent years, overseas manufacturers like Hyundai and Honda have given Australians access to more affordable cars.

Besides the low prices of import cars, Australian buyers are also taking up smarter car loan finance options provided by both major banks and smaller lenders. The emphasis on flexibility in car loan repayments and finance package options have been the major forces behind the upward trend in imported car sales.

Consumers are now getting wiser with their decisions because they are aware that there are cheaper car loans and bad credit car finance options available in the market, and they have the power to easily compare motor vehicle finance conditions and interest rates.

Not only that, buyers are beginning to seek the advice of car loan specialists to get the best value out of their car finance, and the competitive car loan market means that lenders are more willing to consider applications with bad credit history, to a certain amount of course. And that is the reason why car buyers are able to obtain bad credit car loans and afford cheaper imported cars.

However, this does not signify the death of the domestic car manufacturing industry. It is an unfortunate blow to the industry as a whole but this is also a wake-up call to the two remaining local manufacturers, Holden and Toyota.

In closer observation, Ford did not apply the same market strategy as the other manufacturers did and were not able to meet consumer preferences for smaller cars and SUVs. And that, coupled with many other factors such as currency devaluations and salary inflation, have forced Ford to shut its doors. However, the Australian car industry is still looking steady but it is highly crucial that Holden and Toyota continue making considerable adjustments to survive in the future.

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Theo Kouzapa
P: 1300 780 050


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