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CAR ASSEMBLY

IMPORTATIONS FROM CANADA

AMPLE SCOPE FOE BODY

BUILDERS.

Objection is taken by Mr. Hope B. Gibbons, managing director of the Colonial Motor Company, to a statement which was made in Wednesday's "Post" that the Ford Company is carrying out car assembly work in &ew Zealand. "The position," he states, "is that the assembly work is in the hands of the Colonial Motor Company, with a complete New Zealand staff, and with wholly New Zea-land-capital."

Ford cars which are brought into the Dominion from Canada for assembly at Wellington, Auckland, and Timaru are Canadians-British—mach-ines, continued Mr. Gibbons, in the manufacture of which the total value of non-British material it £3 12s; and, further, that the capital of the Canadian company is 80 per cent. British and only 20 per cent. American. The personnel of the Canadian factories, moreover, is wholly British, with the exception of a few special tool-makers.

In all, 641 workmen are employed in the New Zealand assembly work, 301 at Wellington, 188 at Auckland, and 152 at Timaru. The Wellington assembly is carried out upon seven floors, working downwards after the first upward hoist of parts: on the seventh, body building from the siaei stampings direct from the factory presses; on the sixth, body painting; on the fifth, chassis assembly »>id finishing of engine; on the fourth, manufacture of upholstery from rolls and bales of material and testing; and on the third, bulk store for parts; on the second, batteries and electrical; and on the first, bulk cases and unpacking. The operations peculiar to each floor prepare the partly-finished car for the immediate attention of the workers on the floor below. The assembly rate is an average of 25 per day at Wellington, 20. per day at Auckland, and 18. per day at Timaru. . : - ■

THE BODY BUILDING INDUSTRY.

"A general -statement that -the-New Zealand body building industry is stagnant is net correct," laid Mr. Hope • Gibbons, "or, if it in, it it the fault of the trade, for the position is that the body builders, organised or not organised, as they are to-day, are not capable of 'undertaking all the business offering in commercial body, charabanc, arid bus. body work. In many cases the methods and'machinery employed' are out of date, and though in such work as I have mentioned the live, local man can, and does, compete with the imported.body, there are not. enough of such men. It is a matter of output: the demand for truck bodies, as compared with that for car bodies, is small, and the very heavy overhead of assembly equipment for dealing with only a few, truck bodies counts against importation and assembly and for the local motor body builder. PBOTECTION FOB LOCAL INDUSTRY. "If the statement is narrowed down to car body building then the case is different, but it is not a matter of the inadequacy of tariff protection. Actu.ally the body duty as applied to email, cars is extremely heavy, for—and this statement may occasion surprise—the price paid by this company for a complete touring car body is less than the duty levied upon that body coming into New Zealand. Tariff protection for New Zealand industry surely; cannot go further. A layman might call this 100 per cent, duty, but it is not. The extraordinary position is the result of the special duty of £10 upon British double-seated open bodies whether they are worth £10 or £500. This legislation was enacted to assist local industry, but in fact it has no such effect. Upon low-priced bodies it is an extortionate rate of duty, and upon expensive bodies, it is insignificant, yet it is just such bodies which could be made in the Dominion by New Zealand workmen with New Zealand material. Tho very cars upon which tho duty falls most heavily, tho all-steel bodies' turned out by mass production, methods cannot be made by coach-builders in this country at a price which could possibly enable them to compete with the imported body, special protection for the indus.*Wi °l no P£PJtec|ion.''

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19260123.2.23

Bibliographic details

CAR ASSEMBLY, Evening Post, Volume CXI, Issue 19, 23 January 1926

Word Count
673

CAR ASSEMBLY Evening Post, Volume CXI, Issue 19, 23 January 1926

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