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Australian automotive manufacturing industry


Old Koreelah
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Rubbish.  EVERY Country subsidises it's auto industry and the spare parts aspect has gone together with it's state of the art structure and R&D., Tooling  money spent in design development etc

 

         The subsidies are recouped an many ways like payroll and income taxes, money spent on infrastructure here.  One of the reasons the cars weren't competitive was the high AUD then.  NOW the AUD is the pacific Peso making all imports more expensive  for us as we make Bugger all here now (lets not KID ourselves). How vulnerable have we allowed ourselves to become? There's going to be a lot of car companies going to the wall. There's arguably too many of them anyhow,. GM in the US isn't too sound as I , and more knowledgeable OTHERS, read it  Nev

 

 

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True in part Nev but dont forget the world tended toward more fuel efficient cars (With the exception of certain countries with low cost fuel and/or a big engine fetish) Most overseas manufacturers offered turbo diesel variants, particularly in their larger vehicles. Holden never had a diesel, as far as I know. (the diesel option may not be so 2020 but certainly was in the 1990 -erly 2000's) For whatever reason - Holden just didn't produce a car for other markets - end of story.

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What about the TE Gemini?

In early 1981, the option of a 1.8-litre Isuzu diesel model was introduced, fitted with an M76 five-speed gearbox. In Australia, all diesel Geminis were only available as SL/X five-speed manuals. Rhone green was a colour made available exclusively for the diesel, but other colours in the range could be ordered. Production of the diesel commenced in March 1981.

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Yes, and it wasn't much of a diesel, even at the time. Pretty smokey and not a performer. You can't compare those engines with a modern euro diesel (even allowing for the makers that cheat the tests). They are pretty clean. Cat. converters on petrol engines fail also.. Stuff has to be maintained as was always the case if you don't want smoke everywhere..Nev

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Holden marketed a smaller diesel competitor to the Territory as one stage. Not one of the current vehicles in their line up was outstanding in any way according to market commentators.. Just a mix match of various offerings from Asia'. OPEL/ Vauxhall was sold off too I find.. GM bought it's way out of FIAT. I don't know where current owners of Holden's cars will get service . I doubt if GM USA care. Shareholder profit come first. …….Hasn't THAT been BOEINGS problem? Profit before Product quality. Nev

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  • 2 weeks later...

Please forgive my ignorance but wasn't the Gemini a rebadged (possibly modified for Au conditions) Opel/Vauxhall?

 

I guess I was aiming my comment at the Commodore range - big cars with thirsty petrol engines. I would have been in the market for a nice Commodore Ute with V6 (or similar) turbo diesel, 6 speed manual.

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Please forgive my ignorance but wasn't the Gemini a rebadged (possibly modified for Au conditions) Opel/Vauxhall?

 

How can knowledge be ignorance - you's just forgetful.

 

By 1975 and with Japanese brands taking huge chunks out of the local car market, there were no prizes for predicting that GM-H would source its next compact model from Japan. Well, Europe via Japan actually. Isuzu borrowed its basic design for the Gemini from GM’s Opel Kadett.

 

It still wasn’t overly powerful for an engine of its size, with a single overhead-camshaft and 61kW. Engine output continued to fall, with buyers of the TE version that arrived in October 1979 expected to make do with 50kW. Worse was to come in 1981 with the appearance of a 40kW Gemini diesel.

 

When I was in the HWP, and Geminis were popular with P platers, we concocted the offence of "Drive Gemini on a public street"

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Me thinks you are giving the Gemani diesel a bit of unfair criticism- it was produced in the era of naturally aspirated diesels.Most of which were indirect injection. True there were a few turbo charged diesel car engines (Mercedes W123 300D was available in the US and EU with a turbo but not in UK/Au). The W123, 300D naturally aspirated 5 cylinder engine accelerated like paint drying (especially the more common 4 speed auto) BUT it kept on accelerating right up to Autobahn speeds. I had a 5 speed manual (private import) which was a little better and could easily achieve 7 L/ 100 km at AU motorway max speeds.(115 kph) - terrific car/unstoppable

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Me thinks you are giving the Gemani diesel a bit of unfair criticism- it was produced in the era of naturally aspirated diesels.Most of which were indirect injection.

 

We mock the capabilities of electrically powered cars from a little as 20 years ago, but what do we see now? If a modern diesel engine could be fitted to a Gemini, it might turn out to be a good car, if one could accept the primitive level of engineering of everything above the floor pan.

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............................ If a modern diesel engine could be fitted to a Gemini, it might turn out to be a good car, if one could accept the primitive level of engineering of everything above the floor pan.

 

I never had the pleasure of driving a Gemini petrol/diesel but on an extended holiday in the UK I purchased a Vauxhall Chevette. Great little car! Cornered like it was on rails. Vigorous use of the gearbox could elicit quite sprightly performance. I also believe the model did well in rally comps. Again my limited understanding suggest the car was well engineered with its main fault being a tendency to corrosion ( a common problem with many EU manufacturers of the time) a build quality issue.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw my first Commodore V6 / 9 speed auto/ 4x4 yesterday. Wow! pretty nifty looking. The owner said it had sat on the show room floor for nearly 12 months befor he purchased it. Quite the car buff, we spoke of the cars we had "loved" over the years. He was very pleased with its all round performance and moaned the passing of such a marque.

 

He also told me there had been a diesel variant available but only a 4 banger and only in the povo pack - that's the sort of thinking that puts you out of business.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Those little old Gemini diesels were the dux nuts in the '79-'83 OPEC oil arse-ream era, of a 400% increase in fuel prices in just 18 mths. They'd do 50mpg (4.7L/100Km), and they went and went and went.

The problem was in the rest of the Gemini - poor build quality, paint so thin and poorly applied it would just fall off - and the corrosion that came with poor quality paint.

Those Gemini diesels are actually sought after by a coterie of GMH collectors today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've owned three quite good naturally-aspirated Japanese diesel vehicles- all grey imports.

 

My daughter's first car was a 2L diesel Corolla, which was perfect for a struggling student: 50+mpg.

It had adequate power but she often complained about all the other cars overtaking her. It suited me that our only kid wasn't speeding, so I didn't tell her that the locally-fitted 12" wheels caused the speedo to read about 15k more than her actual road speed.

 

When the tyres wore out I replaced them with standard 13" rims and she was much happier.

Edited by Old Koreelah
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Probably cost way less than your Corolla diesel - my entry to diesel sedans - a 1980, Mercedes, W123, 240 D, 4 speed manual.

Great car, economical, cornered like it was on rails, 4 wheel disc breaks, smooth as over all road conditions, acceleration ? like watching paint dry but just kept on accelerating, as long as you kept your foot down.

When I graduated to a 1985,W123, 300D, 6 speed manual,I lent the 240 to eldest son to commute to / from school.

One day, while last in line of a stationary vehicles, at the traffic lights, he was "rear ended".

Sufficient force to move the,near 2 tonne MB,into vehicle in front . 3 occupants shaken, bit of whiplash,but otherwise unscathed. Youngest son in back seat very lucky as whole boot area crushed in. MB were amongst the first to have "crush zones" in their vehicles.

Car a write off - very sad.

Nothing like an old diesel MB manual for youngsters to gain experience in.

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...Nothing like an old diesel MB manual for youngsters to gain experience in.

An uncle had an old Merc. 190D for years. Reputed to be a 50mpg car and he claimed he never had to open the bonnet. When I asked to see the engine, I discovered the radiator cap had been left off.

He got years more service out of it.

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I can never understand why auto makers always wanted to use indirect injection. It was supposedly quieter. I have an indirect injected Toyota Prado which rattles just as much as my David Brown direct injection tractor.

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I can never understand why auto makers always wanted to use indirect injection. It was supposedly quieter. I have an indirect injected Toyota Prado which rattles just as much as my David Brown direct injection tractor.

Hi Yenn - Indirect injection (pre-combustion chamber in head) was the main system during my youth & early days in agriculture. Direct injection (swirl chamber in crown of piston) was around but not so common.

During most of my life diesel engines have been high compression - usually in the range 20-22:1, and until lately (last 30 years) naturally aspirated (no turbo).

Indirect injection facilitates high compression - piston almost touches cylinder top.

In indirect combustion, the injectors "spray" a relativly dense stream of fuel into the pre -combustion chamber. Indirect systems are tolerant of fuel quality and nozzle wear and much beloved by the vegetable/fuel oil converters because of this.

Indirect cylinder heads are more complex and probably heavier and more costly to manufacture than direct injection.

Indirect systems are probably marginally slower to accelerate than direct so are less attractive to the automotive application BUT are likely to be more fuel efficient than their direct injection peers.

Direct injection systems tend to operate at the lower end of the high combustion ratio, need a much finer "mist" of fuel to be injected to achieve effective combustion, are not so tolerant of wear and variations in fuel quality.

In recent years the turbo/supercharging (increasing air induction for greater & more complete fuel burn) of diesel engines combined with the more widespread application into small vehicles (cars, light commercials & 4x4's) has facilitated the focus on driving characteristic -engine noise/ acceleration/ visible exhaust pollutants/fuel consumption.

Direct injection is more applicable to high speed diesel engines and also facilitates such things as cross flow head design for increased efficiency.

In very recent times, the advent of common rail (extremity high fuel injection pressures) coupled with computer management of injector timing & opening, plus higher induction air boost has allowed for compression ratios to drop to almost petrol levels (my Ranger 17:1). This has in tern allowed for reduced engine weight, higher engine response /acceleration times, more power, reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions, lower noise (I love the old diesel rattle at idle) BUT there is a trade off (as always).

The modern systems are highly intolerant of fuel quality variation, contamination and are very very expensive to repair

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's interesting to see the car companies falling by the wayside due to poor management, poor model lineup, and poor understanding of buyers needs. Nissan is looking like a real mess at present.

Nissan has been noted for its truly awful customer treatment as regards warranty and any other reasonable complaints. As a Nissan owner, you're on your own once you buy a Nissan, they make Chrylser-Jeep look good.

 

However, the news has recently got a lot worse for Nissan. Sales were plummeting before the COVID-19 virus hit - after it hit, Nissan sales fell off a cliff.

They lost AUD$9.2B last FY (to March 2020). This was a year largely unaffected by the coronavirus. Things have only got a lot worse, since the virus hit.

 

Their vehicle production, globally, was down 62% in April 2020!! Their global sales were down 42% for the same month.

Perhaps some of their poor attitude to their customers is coming back to bite them?

 

A lot of Nissans problems can be shunted right into Carlos Ghosn's court. I reckon this bloke was poison to Nissan.

He went for a huge surge in sales targets, but put all his dealers, and many of his customers offside.

 

Nissans customer service became poorer and poorer, and it seems obvious now, this was because Ghosn wouldn't let the Nissan dealers make any money.

 

The very fact that Ghosn escaped from custody in Japan via the most devious means possible, indicates he has little by way of morals or ethics.

I think it's a good thing he's gone - but it's going to be a while before Nissan even looks like sailing on an even keel.

 

Nissans 3000 workers at the Spanish factory are currently rioting and burning tyres, after getting news of the Nissan factory shutdown.

Not the best company image Nissan would be wanting on the news.

 

There's certainly going to be a major shakeout in the company over the next year. Look towards a number of Nissan models disappearing (69 models brought down to 55), and possibly a lot more Nissan parts and components being manufactured in cheap-manufacturing countries.

I'm not sure what will happen with Subaru, a lot of Subarus major components are built by Nissan. If Nissan decides Subaru supply contracts are no longer worth having, Subaru could be out on a limb.

 

https://www.perthnow.com.au/business/engineering/nissan-to-shut-indonesia-spain-car-plants-ng-s-2012507

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/15/automobiles/nissan-carlos-ghosn-strategy.html

 

https://cleantechnica.com/2020/05/27/new-renault-nissan-mitsubishi-plan-is-more-of-a-mishmash-than-an-alliance/

 

https://jalopnik.com/the-other-shoe-has-dropped-for-nissan-1843727861

 

 

 

On the other side of the coin - it appears Nissan has earnt $7.2B in 3 years of operation in Australia - but has only paid $476 in tax! What a global tax rort artist they are!!

 

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/nissan-motor-co-australia-pty-ltd

 

 

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Quote:- "- it appears Nissan has earnt $7.2B in 3 years of operation in Australia - but has only paid $476 in tax! What a global tax rort artist they are!!"

 

One-track, I'd be blaming our weak Federal government entirely for this. They set up the rules to make it easy for big business to use legal loopholes to 'minimise' tax paid on profits made from Australian pockets.

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