05 September 2016

Industry Snippets - September 2016

Somewhere in wild New Zealand...

The new Ford Mustang has been a hit around the world. It's proving especially popular in right hand drive countries, as this is the first Mustang model made for those driving on the correct side of the road. I've already seen some on New Zealand roads, although I don't live in a main centre where most will be found.


Brexit has been blamed for everything except global warming. Therefore it was nice to see Tata admit that - - providing the pound remains low - there will be gains for JLR out of it, albeit a modest one. Many components for JLR vehicles are supplied from Europe, which is the negative. The positive is the UK added value will be cheaper, which will swing the business case overall on to the plus side.


On that theme, I just read a headline that Japan may close car factories in the UK if clarity isn't forthcoming soon on the ramifications of Brexit. I didn't know Japan had car plants in the UK. However, some Japanese companies do and I assume they will make their own decisions, not Japan collectively. Japanese culture is known for patience, so my suggestion is keep calm and carry on.

Honda have committed the new Civic to the UK, Toyota are doing OK with the Auris and Avensis. Nissan have a very efficient factory and a regional training role for the company, I believe. I cannot see them closing that. Mind you all through 2016, Nissan has been experiencing falling sales in Europe.


I was reading in an Australian car magazine about local car production ending. The anonymous column writer said if a small country like Sweden can support a car industry, so could Australia. Not much thinking went into that! Sweden makes premium cars, which have decent margins and can support higher wages. Australia makes mainstream products and loses a lot of money making them. In addition, Asia is close by and it's much cheaper to make cars there and ship them the small distance required. Not rocket science, mate.


I believe the Land Rover Defender ended production due to EU regulations. Now that the UK is leaving that august organisation, can that decision be reversed? I should start a 'Bring back the Defender' campaign. Mind you losing the EU markets to sell the Defender may be enough to make a return uneconomical. Oh well, just a thought.


New Zealand passenger car sales were up 13.5% in August and commercial vehicles were up 9.9%, YTD it is 4.8% and 12.5% respectively. Add to that huge numbers of imported used cars too.

Type 08/2016 08/2015 YTD 2016 YTD 2015

Passenger 8,896 7,752 64,357 61,404

Commercial 3,781 3,440 29,024 25,807

Total 12,677 11,192 93,381 87,211


  1. " ... the first Mustang model made for those driving on the correct side of the road. "

    Haha good one !

    It's really sad that local production will soon end in Australia. Back in the day (1950s and 60s), both Holden and Ford exported to Singapore and Malaysia. In the 70s, General Motors even had a small Malaysian factory just across the border from Singapore. Some Holden models were assembled here with imported CKD packs (not sure which ones though). Ford on the other hand had a factory near Kuala Lumpur and another in Singapore. Both assembled the wildly popular British-designed Cortina. Unfortunately, none of the big Canadian and Aussie Fords sold well here, and by the 80s, only the Kuala Lumpur factory remained operational (it shut down in 2007).

    At the very least, I hope Holden and Ford can continue designing cars, as I quite like the big Commodores and Falcons !

  2. Hero Aero. The Australian car industry had its good days but that's in the past. It didn't keep up and became inefficient. Holden will still have a design centre in Australia I believe, maybe Ford too. I didn't know about the Malaysian assembly of Holden cars.