Friday, February 3, 2012
The Bureau of Statistics said exports of built-up cars earned $1.35 billion in 2011, a shuddering 63 per cent fall from the $3.69 billion three years earlier.
Holden has been the biggest victim, after General Motors ended exports of Commodores to the United States to protect jobs at its US plants. From 56,140 cars exported in 2008, Commodore exports shrank to 7811 in 2010.
But last year's victim was Toyota, now the only significant exporter of Australian-made cars. In 2008 it produced record exports of 101,668 Camrys and Aurions, but that dropped to 82,630 in 2010 and then to just under 60,000 last year.
Toyota spokeswoman Vesna Benns said the loss of $A earnings was even bigger, since export contracts are written in $US, and the $US has fallen sharply against the $A in the past year. Toyota's total export earnings, including sales of accessories, slumped from roughly $1.5 billion in 2010 to $1 billion in 2011, she said.
Total exports of Australian-made cars have fallen from a record 162,000 in 2008 to about 70,000 last year.
But total Australian exports grew 10 per cent in 2011 to a record $313 billion, with most of that growth coming from minerals, and the rest from farm exports. Imports grew 9 per cent to $294 billion, and the trade surplus rose from $15 billion to $19 billion.