Mitsubishi closure could affect 2300 jobs

Friday, 21 May 2004

The preliminary analysis of the proposed closure of Mitsubishi's Lonsdale plant is likely to lead to direct and indirect job losses of around 2300 in South Australia, said John Spoehr, Executive Director, Centre for Labour Research, University of Adelaide.

"Our modelling indicates that the flow on job losses of around 1600 from the closure of Lonsdale are likely to be concentrated in motor vehicle components and other manufacturing (430 jobs), property and business services (430) and trade (370) sectors of the economy.

"Past experience suggests that it will be difficult for those who lose their jobs to find alternative employment. It will be essential to provide Mitsubishi workers with a significant package of assistance that includes support for retraining," Spoehr said.

The closure of one of two Mitsubishi plants in Australia was part of a global restructure that was the carmaker's last chance at survival, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation president Yoichiro Okazaki said today.

Mr Okazaki confirmed the closure of Mitsubishi Australia's engine assembly plant at Lonsdale in Adelaide's south, resulting in between 600 and 700 job losses. He said the closure of the engine assembly plant would take place by the end of next year.

But he said the global restructure made a commitment to continue operations at Mitsubishi's other Australian operation - a vehicle assembly plant at Tonsley Park, also in Adelaide's south, which employs about 2,700 people.

Spoehr said the BHP closure saw the provision of industry development assistance from BHP and government of around $25m. A similar approach will be necessary in South Australia to ensure that employees have jobs to go to.

"This announcement is a heavy blow to manufacturing workers and industry in South Australia. It signals the need for a new National Car Plan to address the pressures facing the car industry in Australia," he added.


Contact Details

Associate Professor John Spoehr
Executive Director
Australian Workplace & Social Innovation Centre
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3730
Mobile: 0418 805 594

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
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