Sad day for Aussie motoring

October 05, 2017

Shepparton Motor Museum's Graeme Balfour was sad to see the end of Aussie built cars.

It was the end of the line for car manufacturing in Victoria on Tuesday, as workers at Toyota’s Altona North factory finished shifts for the final time.

The closure of the factory is the end of Toyota’s Australian car manufacturing, which started in 1963.

With the closure of Australian manufacturing operations of Ford last year, Holden to end in three weeks, car manufacturing is at its end.

The man in charge of preserving our old vehicles, Shepparton Motor Museum’s Graeme Balfour, said there was a lot of history to be proud of.

‘‘Possibly about a quarter of the cars (at our museum) are Australian made,’’ Mr Balfour said.

‘‘It is a shame to see it come to an end.’’

Car manufacturing was once a big employer across Australia, with the strong support in the form of tariffs and subsidies to keep the industry viable.

Across the decades manufacturing numbers declined, with the big auto makers blaming a small domestic market, high Australian dollar and high wages.

Despite the end of Australian car making, Mr Balfour said there would be a lot of car enthusiasts across the country who would preserve the history.

‘‘Those that have got a few good Aussie cars might see them become a more valuable part of their collection,’’ he said.

He pointed out the Holden HK Monaro, which could be bought for just under $3800 in 1968, was worth upwards of $300000.

Toyota’s closure will result in Australian employees dropping from just less than 4000 to 1300.

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