Australia the country responsible for the legendary Ford XB Falcon (and subsequently the Mad Max films that it starred in), is going to stop making cars. Ford themselves actually already stopped production, leaving Holden and Toyota to continue a tradition of car building that dates back to 1925 in Australia. In October this year Holden and Toyota will stop production too, bringing a tradition of over 90 years to an end.
In times gone by Holden, Ford and Toyota all achieved similar peak production numbers of around 150,000 cars in a year. However in the last ten years car production in Australia has needed increasing government funding. The reason for this is two fold. Firstly Australia is not a big exporter of cars. Unfortunately for Australia it is surrounded by Asian nations with cheaper labours costs, where it is more economical to build and export cars. The second reason is whilst in times of old people would buy 150,000 Holdens, there are now more brands of cars available to buy in Australia than in the UK, Europe, USA or Japan. This has led to a huge diversification of the cars being sold in Australia. Translated into figures, the combined total of locally made cars last year by Ford, Holden and Toyota was 87,000. Those numbers just don’t stack up.
Sadly then for Australian buyers, October means the end of Australian made cars. This has led to a huge demand for some of the remaining high performance Holden V8s, which have already sold out for this year, as people clamber to get hold of the last ones. Likewise on the second hand market values are shooting up as people begin to realise this will be the last of its kind. The country that brought us a post apocalyptic view of the future, where one of the only things to survive was a hero driving ‘the last of the v8s’ is now getting a glimpse of a world where even the V8 won’t survive.