An Australian auto parts firm, SMR, move to Thailand outrages Australian tax-payers

Earlier, with news that Airbus and Rolls Royce, were helping ASEAN countries, develop an aerospace industry, there were protest in Europe, by labor unions, that Airbus and Rolls Royce, were helping to create competition for European workers, when they should be thinking of jobs in the Eurozone. The latest is with Australia.  SMR Automotive, which makes rear-view mirrors, door handles and indicator lamps for all three Australian car-makers, announced today that it would shed 90 staff and shift some production to Asia, largely in response to the high cost of making components in Australia. The announcement is the second blow to the Australian car industry to surface in recent days after Melbourne-based LPG fuel tank supplier to both Ford and Holden, CMI Fuel Systems, last week announced it had called in the receivers. SMR said in a statement that up to 90 of the Adelaide-based company’s employees could go as part of the plan, using a mix of not replacing workers as they leave and voluntary redundancies. “SMR Automotive continues to remain committed to Australia despite the depleting domestic automotive market, challenges posed by a record-high Australian dollar and the high cost of manufacturing in this country,” the parts maker said, adding the company’s determination to succeed in the global automotive sector and maintain its commitment to Australia demands that it leverage Australia’s strengths in innovation and sophisticated high-end, high-value production. “For this reason, SMR Automotive has taken a decision to move the production of some non-competitive and commodity product lines to a manufacturing plant in Thailand.” The company also received a $2.4 million grant from the federal government to help it develop a lightweight rear-view mirror for international markets and create more jobs. “It will also develop new manufacturing processes, and demonstrate their viability at pilot scale,” the fund’s announcement of the grant said (Source).

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