Is Australia's Car Manufacturing Industry Dying?
Jac Nasser, former President of Ford has warned that the struggling Australian car making industry’s demise is ‘inevitable’ owing to a high dollar, high costs and excess overseas capacity. Nasser also went onto say that the nation is risking its chance of recreating the resources sectorinvestment and jobs of the last boom if better tax and workplace relations policies are not put in place.
The BHP Billiton Chairman's dire assessment of the nation's deteriorating car industry comes after Holden this week said it would axe 500 jobs in Adelaide and Melbourne as it cut production from 400 cars a day to 350 because of the strong dollar, which was last night trading at a seven-month high above $US1.05.
Nasser, who worked at Ford for 33 years, said that two or three years ago he had been optimistic the industry could survive, however this was no longer the case. “The signs aren't good,” he said yesterday. “You've got an exchange rate at a 30-year high, you've got higher costs in Australia, you've got excess capacity in the motor industry worldwide, you've got a very weak currency in Japan and you've got a weak euro.
“When you put that mix together, it's very difficult to expect a relatively small but talented Australian auto industry to work its way.”
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Australia’s car making industry consists of just three manufacturers – Ford, Holden and Toyota. Competition from overseas has had a profound impact on the auto manufacturing industry and last night the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union highlighted this by urging the Gillard government to consider imposing higher tariffs linked to the value of a foreign currency. Furthermore the union accused rival car manufacturing companies, particularly Japan of “not playing by the book.”
During the conference, Nasser spoke passionately about retaining the manufacturing sector in Australia, however his outlook was not optimistic. He said it was difficult to predict how long it would be before there was no car manufacturing in Australia, and stressed it depended on the strength of suppliers.
“As soon as you have a reduction in the scale of domestic manufacturing - let's assume one of the three decide to exit Australia in terms of manufacturing - then you end up potentially with sub-scale supplier infrastructure,” he said. “Once that happens, I think it's a domino effect. It would be a very sad day for Australia but unfortunately it looks like it could be inevitable.”
Digital Leader Mobiquity Expands Into Asia-Pacific
As an international digital consulting firm, Mobiquity helps a global client base upgrade its digital banking and financial services. The company employs 1,200 team members across 50+ nationalities and serves an estimated 200+ million users each day. Recently, the company built out a digital banking experience for the Bank of the Philippines Islands’ online and mobile platforms—exemplifying its mission to help leading brands engage with technology in meaningful ways.
To highlight Mobiquity’s services, here are a few of the company’s recent accomplishments:
- Designed and developed the first FDA-approved digital medicine system
- Launched a five-star mobile ordering app
- Pioneered a cloud-based IT infrastructure that prevented bank fraud
- Built the official AWS re:Invent 2017 and 2018 mobile apps
What Makes Mobiquity Stand Out?
According to Mobiquity, it's the people that make all the difference. ‘We’re born innovators who like meaty challenges’, the company wrote. ‘We go deeper, getting to the root of your customers’ friction and creating personalised engagements that deliver much more than a digital experience alone’. Now, the company has added former Microsoft and IBM director Gustavo Quiroga to its team.
Who Is Gustavo Quiroga?
At Mobiquity, he’ll be the first Vice President of Business Development Financial Services in APAC. With years of experience in the industry, Quiroga has developed numerous tech, business, and customer experience projects: at Microsoft, he led a top Aussie Azure Data and AI specialist team, and at IBM, he applied AI and deep analytics to transform the company’s business processes, CX, and UX.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Quiroga will start to work with Mobiquity clients in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines and take responsibility for expanding the company’s regional operations. ‘Our best way to impact client outcomes’, he wrote, ‘is by listening to them with an inquisitive and open mind and empowering our people to do the same’.
When notified of the announcement, Quiroga expressed excitement over his new role. ‘I’m delighted to join Mobiquity and support the company’s rapid expansion across the Asia-Pacific region. I joined Mobiquity to develop, design and implement digital products and services that create meaningful experiences with customers...and I look forward to using my expertise to develop partnerships where we can achieve this every day’.
Where Does Mobiquity Go From Here?
In the past six months, Mobiquity has hired over 100 new employees, including the high-profile additions of Howard Moore, Senior Director of Banking, and Ruby Walia, Senior Advisor for Digital Banking. This falls in line with the company’s hyper-growth strategy to deliver digital products to the world.
As Matthew Williamson, Mobiquity’s Vice President of Global Financial Services, explained: ‘Our appointment of Gustavo demonstrates [our] commitment to hiring an A-list team of talent. The latest addition to the Mobiquity team supports our vision of global growth in Asia-Pacific, as a recognised partner within the banking and finance ecosystem’.