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More car jobs under threat

Supply strain: At least four automotive supply companies have announced job cuts in the past two weeks.

Automotive supplier woes continue as Teson Trims enters administration

General News logo9 Sep 2008

AUTOMOTIVE components manufacturer Teson Trims went into voluntary administration on Monday morning with a $2 million debt, threatening around 130 jobs at its operations in Euroa in regional Victoria and the Melbourne suburb of Mitcham.

A long-time supplier to the Australian automotive industry, Teson will continue to trade for the next four or five weeks as its administrator attempts to find a buyer.

Victorian premier John Brumby acknowledged that it was “a very difficult environment at the moment” for the state’s manufacturing sector but said it was up to the federal government – through measures such as tariffs and direct funding – to help the industry.

In a speech delivered at a manufacturing futures conference in Melbourne on Monday, industry minister Kim Carr remained non-committal on the government’s position on tariffs and repeated that a formal response to the Bracks review of the automotive industry – which has recommended that tariffs fall from 10 to five per cent by 2010 - would be made “shortly”.

“Despite the factory closures and job losses of recent months, manufacturing employment has increased by 24,300 since last November,” senator Carr said. “We can’t allow the furphy that manufacturing is in terminal decline to gain ground. It doesn’t just affect the attitudes of consumers. It also affects the industry’s capacity to attract bank credit, new investment, new technology and new jobs.

“There are very disturbing signs that banks are trying to minimise their exposure to manufacturing in general and the automotive sector in particular.

Many companies have talked to me about this. The last thing we want is already vulnerable component suppliers being forced to borrow from non-bank lenders at higher interest rates.

“One of our objectives in developing a new car plan is to turn business confidence around by demonstrating the government’s support for the industry.

“I repeat, no one is more conscious than I am of the effect factory closures have on individual workers and local communities. But we should not lose sight of the fact that the sector as a whole is growing.”

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Local car suppliers shed jobs

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