Holden's Latest Cash Grab
The Australian newspaper is today reporting that Holden is 'playing double or nothing' with the Federal Government - demanding an additional $265 million on top of the $275 million in taxpayer funding already pledged.
Holden is acting like an addict spiralling out of control. Grip on reality: lost.
Face facts: $256 million is a great deal of public funding - to support a business that is, let's be honest, as fundamentally Australian as McDonald's. And about as deserving of your support.
Holden has its privates in a vise here - it's also demanding workers take a $10k pay cut, despite GM CEO Dan Akerson getting paid $11 million (200 times what a Holden factory worker earns).
Overseas, GM's South Korean operations are today beset by rolling strikes over pay and conditions. This is where 40 per cent of GM's cars currently come from. And that operation is stalling on the grid.
Holden wants to lock in the alleged new funding agreement before the election because the coalition says, if elected, it will pull $500 million from the automotive industry.
Industry Minister Kim Carr is already calling the upcoming Federal election a referendum on the future of the automotive industry in Australia. The obvious point here is: What future? There is no future. See the elephant? It's right here, in the room. There is no future.
Holden's local manufacturing operation is already a kind of institutionalised welfare agency - it's Centrelink with a lion logo, although nobody will say it. Holden makes some of the poorest quality cars available in the market today, which are (in Commodore's case) increasingly irrelevant and out of public favour, at a massive loss.
Holden is on a hiding to nowhere - but its extreme arrogance and hubris means it's prepared to keep Hoovering up your tax dollars until its burghers in Detroit pull the pin and it disappears up its own exhaust pipe. Holden is engaged in a sociopathic process of threatening, cajoling and extorting your money from the Federal Government, under false pretences, using Ford's demise and a handful of jobs as leverage.
In the process, Holden is doing itself an incredible reputational disservice. Effectively, Holden is today doing for its reputation exactly what Julia Gillard managed to achieve for the Labour Party.
There is no future. Time to throw in the towel now. Enough's enough. Dear Mr Abbott: when you're in the Lodge in a few months, make good on your promise. Save the economy future billions. Withdraw the life support now.