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Ford Plans To Shut All Australian Production By 2016

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There's no money in manufacturing cars to sell in forecourts.

Hasn't been so in decades.

Aftermarket, service, and financing is the bread and butter...especially financing.

Every aspect of the car industry is rubbish. General Motors largely bankrupted itself through financing. There's too much capacity and too little demand worldwide.

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Ford is a scumbag company commanded by scumbags.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Three former Ford Motor Co. executives were charged Tuesday with crimes against humanity for allegedly targeting Argentine union workers for kidnapping and torture after the country's 1976 military coup.

All three men are now in their 80s. Their case is part of a new wave of prosecutions focusing on corporate support for the dictators who ran Argentina in 1976-1983, and the 150-page indictment written by Judge Alicia Vence reads like a history lesson, going to considerable lengths to explain why their actions constitute crimes against humanity and why it has taken nearly four decades to result in criminal charges.

Factory director Pedro Muller, human resources chief Guillermo Galarraga and security manager Hector Francisco Jesus Sibilla are accused of giving names, ID numbers, pictures and home addresses to security forces who hauled two dozen union workers off the floor of Ford's factory in suburban Buenos Aires to be tortured and interrogated and then sent to military prisons.

All three were ordered to remain under house arrest on bail of about $142,000 each. Galarraga and Sibilla are Argentines and Muller is described in the indictment as a Czech national.

Ford Argentina said in a statement that it was aware of the charges against the men but could not comment because the issue was still under judicial investigation.

"Ford Argentina is not a party to the case but has always kept a collaborative and open attitude with authorities and will provide all available information that may be required to clarify this situation," it said.

The Associated Press left phone messages and sent emails seeking comment from the offices of lawyers for the three former executives, but there was no response.

The judge said the executives sought to eliminate union resistance at Ford's Argentina subsidiary and clearly had inside information about the coming "dirty war" in which so-called subversives would be thrown into clandestine detention centers. She described a key meeting the day after the March 24, 1976, coup in which Galarraga told union leaders to "forget any kind of labor complaints" and all their problems would be resolved.

Witnesses recalled that union leader Juan Carlos Amoroso then asked about talks over money that workers said had been systematically removed from their paychecks. The human resources chief laughed and said, "Amoroso, give my greetings to Camps," the judge wrote, a reference to Gen. Ramon Camps.

At the time, Camps was a little-known figure. Named police chief of Buenos Aires province by the military junta, Camps soon ran a system of clandestine detention centers where thousands of people were taken for torture and summary execution. Camps died in 1994 after being convicted of 73 torture deaths and other crimes so wide-ranging that many of Argentina's current human rights trials involve a network of prisons known as "the Camps circuit." About 13,000 people were kidnapped, tortured and disappeared, according to official counts.

"I find it remarkable that the head of human resources at Ford would know information so sensitive such as the function that Camps would develop in the future, something almost impossible to know if the company didn't have a direct and concrete relationship with the military authorities who had overtaken the state institutions of that era," the judge wrote.

Two nights after the meeting inside the Ford factory, a heavily armed group kidnapped Amoroso at home and took him to be beaten and interrogated, according to the indictment. Other Ford union workers were bound, with bags over their heads, and beaten inside a dining area next to the factory's soccer fields, then hauled away to jails for more torture. Some were subjected to electric shocks; others were stripped naked and injured with power tools or made to undergo false executions as interrogators sought information about union leaders' whereabouts.

The indictment also says that when two of the victims' spouses went to authorities seeking information on their missing husbands, a colonel showed them a list of workers' names on a Ford company letterhead and said it was the company, not the military, that wanted the men taken away.

The former president of Ford Motors Argentina, Nicolas Courard, would have been charged as well if he hadn't died in Chile in 1989, the judge wrote.

About 5,000 workers were employed at the time by the Ford factory in suburban General Pacheco, producing the Falcon, a car that became a symbol of state terror because it was often used by military and police squads to carry off "subversives" and move them between secret detention centers.

The victims in this case include Pedro Troiani, Carlos Gareis, Jorge Constanzo, Marcelino Reposi, Adolfo Sanchez, Francisco Perrotta, Juan Carlos Ballestero, Pastor Murua, Ruben Manzano, Juan Carlos Amoroso, Fernando Groisman, Luciano Bocco, Juan Carlos Conti, Ricardo Avalos, Vicente Portillo, Carlos Propato, Luis Degiusti, Eduardo Pulega, Hugo Nunez, Ruben Traverso, Raimundo Robledo, Carlos Chitarroni, Roberto Cantelo and Hector Subaran.

Their treatment was investigated soon after the return of democracy in 1983, but the crimes later fell under a general amnesty that wasn't overturned by Argentina's Supreme Court until a decade ago. The case has developed since then and only now is coming to trial.

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BSCB-Australia-Top-5-2002-2012.jpg

There's no money in manufacturing cars to sell in forecourts.

Hasn't been so in decades.

Aftermarket, service, and financing is the bread and butter...especially financing.

Interesting graph, currency specific issues with Oz aside, car manufacturers have spectacularly failed to take account of the fact that the new models they were selling between ~1995 and ~2005 were, with a few exceptions of course, were/are destined to last much longer than those that came before. Even in a scenario of rising motoring populations it would put a drag on new sales eventually. When car ownership starts falling too, as it has in the UK, it amplifies the effect. They believed their own hype about ever-increasing car ownership and discretionary replacement amongst increasingly affluent consumers.

Holden and Ford seem to be disproportionately affected in Oz- perhaps the standard of their cars is not so good, as is the case Stateside, and they are replaced with the Japanese equivalents. What happens to the ~stable trends in the other models when Ford and Holden bottom out?

The UK has around 5 million vehicles on the road, over 1 in 6 of the total, that were registered prior to the year 2000, and around 24 million after that date.

motstats.jpg

Data is from MOT tests:

http://good-garage-guide.honestjohn.co.uk/mot-data-the-mot-files/mot-files-mot-test-results-by-year/

Look at how sharply the blue curve rises in the mid 90s, and that's after the scrappage scheme has taken plenty out of the curve. The big hump in the early 2000s ain't going to disappear anytime soon either.

It's partly why cars are becoming ever more complicated, to be cynical. An 'unholy alliance' between regulators and manufacturers can ensure that expensive to replace tech gets legislated for which guarantees an economic write off if a fault occurs after a decade.

More scrappage on the cards before long?

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Look at how sharply the blue curve rises in the mid 90s, and that's after the scrappage scheme has taken plenty out of the curve. The big hump in the early 2000s ain't going to disappear anytime soon either.

Scrappage scheme started in 2009, not the mid 90s.

The blue-line fall-off was from all the new cars bought at the peak of the credit boom.

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Scrappage scheme started in 2009, not the mid 90s.

The blue-line fall-off was from all the new cars bought at the peak of the credit boom.

?

The vehicles eligible to be scrapped under the scheme had to be at least 10 years old, so only stuff made up to and including 1999 was caught by it. Despite that, there are plenty left on the roads. Apologies if I wasn't clear.

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It'll be interesting to see how manufacturing fares in Oz over the next decade or so. They have an overvalued currency propped up by commodities sales, a bit like the UK in the oil boom 1980s. Not usually good for the health of a manufacturing base.

This could also be a problem for an independent Scotland if they had their own petro currency.

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energy-expenditures-percent-GDP.jpg

Its interesting to note that the portion of GDP that accounts for expenditure on acquiring energy is a fairly constant fraction of overall GDP.

Of course, that energy then powers every other single transformation that occurs in the economy, and these derivative transformations account for normally over 90% of GDP.

No doubt similar dynamics govern other primary resource usage, although probably not so clear cut.

It would seem there is some kind of overall constraint on the whole system that forces this relationship to be true, and from which dutch disease presumably follows.

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So what's next for Aus? I'd be surprised if the effects were only limited to manufacturing. Next, pull back in the financial industry? Or just Australians kicking back and importing with their super strong currency. Radio in the kitchen just has a guy saying miners in Australia are earning like our bankers, but as I understand it there is a slowdown coming on there as well. If I could be bothered I'd look at shorting the Australian Dollar. Just googled that and first result was George Soros reportedly doing the same + 'Australian dollar faces waves of shorts'.

"Our costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times Ford in Asia," Bob Graziano, the chief executive of Ford Australia, said. "The business case simply did not stack up."

The Australian dollar has risen 29% against the Japanese yen over the past year, making Australian products much less competitive.

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So what's next for Aus? I'd be surprised if the effects were only limited to manufacturing. Next, pull back in the financial industry? Or just Australians kicking back and importing with their super strong currency. Radio in the kitchen just has a guy saying miners in Australia are earning like our bankers, but as I understand it there is a slowdown coming on there as well. If I could be bothered I'd look at shorting the Australian Dollar. Just googled that and first result was George Soros reportedly doing the same + 'Australian dollar faces waves of shorts'.

Australia has a monumental amount of mineral resources, which China and other Asian countries are loving. TV Program the other night showed a trucker earning about £65k a year just driving up and down big roads in western Australia. Some others earning much more.

Edited by motch

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Australia has a monumental amount of mineral resources, which China and other Asian countries are loving. TV Program the other night showed a trucker earning about £65k a year just driving up and down big roads in western Australia. Some others earning much more.

Truckers in the UK for oil companies earn about 45k iirc - with excellent benefits. And the cost of living here is much lower.

Its all relative.How many Aussies move to work in London to earn the sort of money they can't earn back home. All relative.

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The Australian dollar has risen 29% against the Japanese yen over the past year, making Australian products much less competitive.

That has had a negative impact on the local car manufacturing industry as a whole.'

the flip side of being considered a safe haven currency.

The Australian central bank cut its base rate from 3% to 2.75% 2 weeks ago. More cuts on the way?

Edited by Take Me Back To London!

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Yes - but what is it worth?

How much is a pint in Norway?

A house in Sydney?

Apparently 1 in 10 Londoners is now a millionaire but less than half can buy a house. Is that 'rich'?

don't know

around £7 ?

around £400k at a guess ?

not for them no

:P

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Truckers in the UK for oil companies earn about 45k iirc - with excellent benefits. And the cost of living here is much lower.

Its all relative.How many Aussies move to work in London to earn the sort of money they can't earn back home. All relative.

True. The program I watched on tv was about a guy and his family who moved from Birmingham area I think to western Aus and he went from being a bit hard up to doing quite well for himself. I know it can work both ways though.

From what I gather the Aussies have a huge amount of mineral wealth which the emerging countries are queing up for, so perhaps this might see them through for a decade or two compared to our economy based on Banking mostly, who knows though.

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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