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Carbon tax to hit carmakers, says Holden chief Mike Devereux

Australian carmaker Holden has claimed a carbon tax would jack up car manufacturing costs by as much as $46 million a year.

Holden’s chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said a carbon tax of between $20 and $30 a tonne could cost the three local automotive manufacturers between $30 million and $46 million annually.

He believes ongoing “co-investment” from state and federal governments was vital to maintain the beleaguered industry.

“There are potentially large impacts on what is a very trade-exposed industry,” he said.

“Our costs in the local industry would increase between $30 million and $46 million dollars a year, that’s based on between $20 and $30 per CO2 tonne.”

Mr Devereux believes the industry will come under increased cost pressure — factors that industries in other countries will not be experiencing — and car manufacturing in Australia would again be under threat.

“We and the industry have done a lot, we’ve dropped by 11 per cent in CO2 in the past two years — we will continue to introduce more fuel-efficient vehicles … we make the most fuel efficient Australian-built car here — the Cruze diesel,” he said.

He made the claims as Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery toured the company’s plant at Elizabeth, South Australia.

Professor Flannery was impressed with the industry’s efforts to become more sustainable.

“What we can see is the industry is addressing the emissions issues,” he said.

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