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Sydney Motor Show 2003 - Media Launch/Breakfast - 16th October 2003 - Speech Book

Sydney (ots-AsiaNet) - A speech by Peter Sturrock Chief Executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Good morning and welcome to this very important day for the Australian automotive industry. Today is, in effect, the beginning of the industry's 2004 model year. Over the next few hours you'll see well over 60 new cars and motorcycles unveiled - some of them months ahead of their retail launch next year. And you'll hear from the industry's top executives about the their plans for the coming twelve months and more. Those plans have never been more encouraging. In June, Toyota announced that it would establish an research and design facility here - spending an initial $47 million to set in Melbourne what will be only the third Toyota R&D operation outside Japan. In July, Mitsubishi announced plans to establish one of three global research and design centres in South Australia at a cost of $230 million. For both companies it will mean a significant enhancement of their ability to develop vehicles specifically for the local market as well as export opportunities. And next month a new era begins when Holden exports the first of 18,000 Monaros a year - in Pontiac GTO form - to the United States. And there are more initiatives like these in the pipeline. The Australian automotive industry's newfound confidence and ambition can be attributed to some degree to the stable policy environment provided by the Federal Government. The decision on post-2005 policy for the Australian automotive industry provided increased certainty to the industry, and underpinned jobs and investment well into the next decade. Another factor contributing to the positive decisions by the Australian automotive industry is the good health of the local new vehicle market. This motor show takes place at a time of record sales of cars and motorcycles in Australia. The reasons for the sales boom are many - including a strong and stable economy with falling unemployment, low interest rates, a highly competitive retail environment and the exceptional value for money many new cars now represent. There's nothing to suggest any of those factors will change in the near future. Indeed, the figures for September suggest - if anything- an acceleration of sales growth in the fourth quarter. Australians bought more than 233,000 vehicles in the third quarter - 13.6 percent more than the same period last year. September's deliveries of more than 77,000 vehicles were an all-time record for the month and 17.8 percent higher than September last year. New model launches here at the motor show today are likely to drive sales even higher in the last quarter. Accordingly, the FCAI is revising its estimate of annual new vehicle sales for 2003 upwards from 875,000. The official estimate of new motor vehicle sales this year is now 900,000. That will represent a rise of approximately 10% over the record sales total of 824,000 last year. All indications are that the industry will continue its strong sales path in 2004. That's surely a cause for great confidence - not only for the motor vehicle industry - but for the whole nation. Before I finish I'd like to acknowledge our partners, who have helped us organise and promote this year's Sydney Motor Show on behalf of the industry. First is News Limited, our print partner, who publish the two official Sydney Motor Show magazines - the first of which appeared as a 60 page full colour supplement to The Australian newspaper this morning. Tomorrow another 60-page full colour magazine, with separate editorial content, will be published as a supplement to the Daily Telegraph. This year we have also welcomed a new online partner in the form of Australia's leading automotive website, Carpoint. Carpoint, as part of the NineMSN online network, is hosting the Sydney Motor Show website and has partnered us in conducting an innovative live webcast of today's proceedings. Still on the electronic front, the Sydney Motor Show welcomes to the media centre AAP Media Net in conjunction with Wieck Media Services. Wieck is a well-respected online service provider to the automotive industry in the United States and together with AAP they are helping us spread pictures and stories from today's presentations throughout South-east Asia. I'd like to acknowledge the contribution of the Nine Network to the Sydney Motor Show. Ken Sutcliffe lends his good humour and professionalism to these proceedings for the second year in a row as part of Nine's sponsorship of Industry Day. In addition, this year Nine is also hosting a hospitality lounge for exhibitors which will be open throughout today and for the duration of the show. Located on the mezzanine above Hall Four, the Nine Lounge provides a very comfortable place to sit and rest, internet access and digital television services, along with complimentary drinks and snacks. Speaking of snacks, we've taken unusual steps to ensure that none of you go hungry today. In addition to the tradtitionally generous catering provided by the presenting brands, the Sydney Motor Show has secured the culinary services of the world-famous Harry's Café de Wheels. During the lunch hours Harry and his assistants will be serving his renowned pies and pasties free of charge. Harry will ring a bell when the pies are ready, but in any case I'm sure you wont miss his presence. In summary the Sydney Motor Show is continuing to build relationships and partnerships aimed at cementing its position as Australia's - and the region's - most important automotive expo. By the end of today's proceedings I feel sure you'll agree with me that the motor show is evolving in a way that befits Australia's increasingly self-confident and successful automotive industry. Have a good motor show. ots Original Text Service: AsiaNet Internet: http://www.presseportal.ch Prepared by: The Project Group 35 Myrtle Street Crows Nest NSW 2065 Ph (02) 9929 8444 Fax (02) 9957 2251 project@theprojectgroup.com.au

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