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British guru says carmaking to return Down Under in ‘next two or three years’


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PRODUCING cheaper, lighter electric cars means Australia can again be a competitive vehicle manufacturer, a leading British industrialist says.

Sanjeev Gupta, whose company, GFG Alliance, now owns an Australian steel mill, has committed to producing small-scale electric cars in the country.

“We will definitely in the next two or three years have a car production in Australia,” Mr Gupta told the Australian Energy Storage Conference in Adelaide today.

It comes after the final Holden rolled off the production line last October, bringing to a close decades of carmaking in Australia.

General Motors’ Holden division, Toyota and Ford have all shuttered their Australian carmaking operations in recent years after former federal Liberal treasurer Joe Hockey goaded Holden to pull out in 2013.

Mr Gupta has previously said he believes Australia can produce next-generation electric cars now that its traditional carmaking industry is extinct.

“The biggest inhibitor to this (electric car) technology is existing production — in a country where there is car production you will have to basically kill that production,” he said in February.

“The fact that the car industry in Australia has died is an opportunity.”

GFG Alliance struck a deal last July to buy the steelworks in the Adelaide rust belt town of Whyalla.

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