Ironically, many standing up as technical instructors, coaches, and mentors, as well as many actually doing the technical work now are ex automotive people.
Towards the end the automotive industry was highly automated and relied on greater numbers of trades and technical officers than they ever had before. Design, development, certification, plant design production engineering, quality engineering, you name it, their were literally thousands of technical people in the industry.
Even the "production" workers were doing more and more study. Programming robots, CNCs, there were also a lot of operator maintainers.
Read an interesting article about the deep do do we are in because of how the economy has been allowed to develop. A quarry and an unfair tax system: Why is this the economy young Australians are inheriting?
Very poignant that the economy is now significantly shallower than it once was and how it will take decades to rebuild our competitiveness. The automotive industry was uncompetitive because China wanted our resources not our cars.
“The automotive industry was uncompetitive because China wanted our resources not our cars”
To the best of my knowledge China never wanted our cars in the first place,
The simple reason the Oz Auto Industry died was because the manufacturers continued to make vehicles that nobody wanted anymore.
Yes once upon a time the big fat family car was king, the sedan with room for six adults, three in the front bench seat and three in the back, or even more if it was two adults and a pack of kids.
I vividly remember going on holidays, in the mid 1960s, in my fathers 1960 FB Holden and my younger brother and I bouncing around in the back seat, and there were no seat belts either (those were the days, we survived too).
Roll forward to the last 10-20 years or so, and Australian buyer tastes changed dramatically.
Older adults wanted a smaller hatchback, or a SUV or a 4WD, families wanted a SUV or similar, others wanted a hatch, sports, SUV, 4WD, but not a big fat Commodore, Falcon, Magna (previously Valiant), or Camry sedan.
The only people I knew who drove a big fat sedan in recent decades (including myself), was if it was company car (private or Government supplied),
Two of my early company cars were Magnas and Ford Fairmonts (the Fairmont was plush, but underneath it was just a Falcon taxi, rough as guts, I didn’t care because I had the company supplied fuel card).
My most recent company car from a few years back was a smaller Mitsubishi ASX SUV, far more practical for ‘out of hours’ use.
Today I drive a smaller German made turbo 4 cylinder, much more comfortable and refined for the City driving I do mostly.
Again, the Australian Auto industry died because they didn’t produce cars the average punter wanted (except for Utes that continued to be popular, but not in enough numbers to sustain local manufacture).
A good case study on how a nation can prosper manufacturing vehicles is Skoda, yes they are majority owned by VW, but they make cars that are attractive to buyers, the Czechs make a million plus vehicles a year (a country with half the Oz population).
Last time I was in Czech with my ex Czech partner, Skoda was everywhere, we went to Greece and I reckon I saw more Skoda than in Czech.
It wasn’t the Government, or the Oz public that let the Oz Auto industry down, it was the manufacturers and their parent companies that didn’t move with the times.