Here's a fun vid if you have half an hour to kick back and have a laugh.
It kind of explains why I'm banging on about the Integrated Movement Strategy.
Because it was made by General Motors in the 1950's, the aim of the vid was to sell buses, so trains, trams and bikes are not mentioned - but the basic message is still relevant.
Actually, I love those "motor coaches" from the 50s and 60s - could Adelaide, and General Motors Holden, lead a revitalised manufacturing industry of buses.... and rolling stock, and hell, while we're at it, we could nurture an Adelaide based bicycle manufacturing industry, using Australian mined resources that could be processed here - plus all the value-add we can get from retrofitting old bikes like Mike Brisco and the guys at the Adelaide Community Bicycle Workshop do....
Don't tell me I'm dreamin', let's just make it happen.
Have fun watching the video "Lets Go to Town"
Australian made bikes?
They would need to be good because they would probably cost more than Italian bikes.
But with economies of scale - say in 10 years that the population of Australia is 30million, and two thirds of the pop use at least one bike (conservatively), that's 20 million bikes, just for utility transport. That's a lot of units, before even getting into high end stuff. And we have these factories that pump out cars - how hard would it be to retro-fit them? I'm sure we could import the plant from Taiwan to start off... the capital cost will soon be recovered, because of course, when a person starts with just one bike, after a while they do want another....
Well if you can make millions from manufacturing bikes all I can ask is.
Where is your entrepreneurial spirit?
I am certain there would be lots of Australians who would be delighted to be able to purchase an Australian bike that offers good value for money.
I'm not sure which or if any components are made in Australia but most Malvern Star riders seem to be quite happy, particularly those on Oppies. It's unfortunate that the Australian connection put's Australians off. One also has to take into account the high costs of manufacturing in Australia hence the success of the likes of Hyundai in the Australian market place.
While the Australian bike factory worker is having his RDOs either side of a public holiday and then adding in a sickie or too to make it up to a full week his Taiwanese counterpart just made a hundred bikes so he can put food on the table for his family.
His entrepreneurial boss had them on a ship with those Hyundais and all the replica GreeEDGE jerseys his neighbour just made bound for Botany Bay. If we can get the dockers at Botany to go on strike for a couple of weeks because the lunchroom Plasma isn't working we might just get an Ozzie bike to the shops before the imported ones.
Would we buy it, probably not when we can buy a hand painted megadollar Italian bike with snob appeal. (They are probably on that same Taiwanese ship BTW ;) )
I'll save up my pennies and buy a Baum Ti bike when I want my Aussie made bike but I'll probably be too old to enjoy it but it'll look nice in the nursing home after the kids have sold off my house to buy the latest Playstation 19, they won't need bikes because they never leave the house anyway.
While I agree that productivity here in Australia isnt the worlds greatest.......even if it were theyre'd still be enough difference in the cost of labour to make overseas manufacture the only viable option for many companies to compete with Chinese competitors.
Of course we could drop wages to Chinese levels and have our workers working absurdly long hours 7 days of the week and living in dormitories.
Weren't Ricardo bikes made in Australia years ago?
I'll firstly state that I haven't watched the video (30mins I haven't got today) so my comments are based on Sophia's.
Australian mined resources - tick. Without prompting a political riot, our government is currently increasing taxes on one of our few remaining profitable sectors. Yep, let's kill that off too. (OK, I know it's way more complex than that). Ore refining and processing here? Not for much longer I suspect. (Did I mention the carbon tax? Yes, I also realise that is a complex issue).
General Motors Holden - cross. I bought a Holden car, once. Nightmare! Oh, but I did later get an Isuzu built 4WD that was sold by Holden. Fabulous vehicle. Servicing in Australia - nightmare!
Australian manufacturing/employment costs - how long have you got? I worked in a large public hospital for my first ten months out of Uni. Everyone else in the department openly admitted to having a "mental health day" once a month. I picked up the very generous overtime trying to cover their workload. I nearly fell over when told that I would be paid 17.5% more to be on holiday than to be at work slogging my guts out. I have been self-employed in the private sector ever since.
Australian manufacturing future - doomed I suspect. I had a pergola built a year ago by local Aussie lads and the roof still leaks. I have been waiting the same lenghth of time to get a simple gutter quote. If they built a leaky roof then do I really want them dealing with water channels? I have recently been involved in getting group jerseys made. The Chinese suppliers have been very efficient with the exception of a machinery problem which delayed production. When queried they got back to me immediately with an explanation and sincere apology. Jersey arrived soon after. I have also dealt with an Australian printing company, was told to email the enquiry, waited over 24hrs and emailed again....rang again and a simple quote still hadn't been done. When it finally came in, the price compared to the jersey seemed ludicrous.
Dreamin'? Sorry but YES!
Gotta get on the roof now and figure out some Aussie workmanship and attention to detail issues....