The Productivity Commission has done the sums on this. The taxpayer and consumer support to the industry was worth about $1.1billion last year. The PC reckons that each job ‘saved’ in the industry costs us $300,000 a year.
Now two former industry leaders—former beneficiaries of the largesse—have offered the common sense view:
“Two top car industry figures earlier this month warned that further handouts to automakers will be a waste of taxpayers’ money. Former Mitsubishi Australia boss Graham Spurling, who headed a review of the industry for the South Australian Government, said ‘running up the white flag’ on carmaking was preferable to propping up the existing big three manufacturers with direct financial support. He was backed by another veteran car industry executive, Bob Manning, who played an important role in developing Mitsubishi’s ill-fated 380 sedan with government support in South Australia.” extract from: The Australian newspaper emphasis added