Business is calling for urgent government intervention to address crippling shortages of Lamborghinis on the East Coast of Australia, according to an exclusive report in the Australian Financial Review. Michael West reports.
An exclusive report in the AFR today revealed devastating supply issues in Australia’s Lamborghini market, the crisis coming at a time when prices were rising across the board and the sector was grappling with soaring costs and labour shortages.
“The boss of luxury carmaker Lamborghini says the group is still assessing by how much it will lift prices as inflation across the industry accelerates, with heavy demand meaning backlogs for new vehicles have now blown out to 18 months,” said the report.
“Jobs will be destroyed unless the Government moves immediately to ease restrictions on the luxury car sector,” said Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia.
Touring the country as part of the Paul Murray Live “Business is doing it tough” campaign, Westacott called for deregulation of the sector saying high taxes and crippling labour costs would drive the industry offshore.
Demonised by ACCC
The Lamborghini industry, said the AFR, was being demonised following a report by the ACCC which found Lamborghini dealerships were colluding to maximise export profits to the detriment of domestic Lamborghini consumers on the East Coast.
“We are not wankers,” said a spokesperson for the Lamborghini Association of Australia (LAA) saying the supply crisis was due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Responding to the ACCC findings that the market would experience shortages of Lamborghinis in 2023, the LAA spokesperson also called on the Government to intervene as a matter of urgent national interest.
“JobKeeper was a positive step”, said LAA chairman John Barilaro, “but it didn’t go far enough”. Chief executive of the Australian Industry Group Innes Willox agreed, telling the AFR a bail-out package was required to accompany tough measures to address high labour costs in the sector.
“AI Group is advocating a zero wages policy until equilibrium returns to the market. Unless Lamborghini distributors can operate in a efficiently government funded environment with no transparency, Lamborghini consumers are at serious risk.”
Red tape was hurting the sector, said Willox, but once the backlogs eased and more consumers were able to access Lamborghinis the wealth would trickle down to workers as Lamborghini luxury car dealerships would once again be able to provide workers with PPE and free train tickets to get to work.
“This is driving companies to the wall,” said Willox.
Reiterating its calls to adopt proposals by the Luxury Automobile Distributors Society (LADS) to build Lamborghini import terminals to import Lamborghinis back into Australia which had already been already exported offshore, the AFR rejected calls for a Domestic Lamborghini Reservation Policy. “The government should not interfere in the market,” said Willox, except by providing subsidies”.
“Lamborghinis should be banned,” said Greens leader Adam Bandt. “We draw the line at torture, and generally don’t advocate corporate punishment, but anybody caught driving a Lamborghini should be whipped in the public square and emissions free plaster effigies made of them to replace colonial monuments”.
In an interview last night on Sky News’ The Bolt Report, One Nation Leader Pauline said it was “the bloody Asians”.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Government had made a promise at the election and would stick to its commitments to achieve 43% Lamborghini ownership by 2050. “This is a minimum commitment,” he said.
“We have made that commitment to the Australian people,” said the Prime Minister, “We will not be negotiating on our target to have 43% Lamborghini ownership by 2050”.
Resiling from previous calls to have Lamborghini owners summarily executed the Greens Leader said, “Our approach is to say to government, ‘it’s good that we’re finally taking action on Lamborghinis but we need to do better”.
Analysis by economist Judith Sloan in The Australian found that any moves to improve workplace conditions or tax luxury cars would drive the industry offshore. “This is an issue of sovereign risk. Lamborghini drivers would simply move overseas,” she said.
Editor’s Note: this story is based on actual events.
Michael West established Michael West Media in 2016 to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. West was formerly a journalist and editor with Fairfax newspapers, a columnist for News Corp and even, once, a stockbroker.