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Question for friends down under

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As far as I know the car producing cities were/are Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Our land mass is roughly the same size as mainland USA, but our population is 20 million.

As for production nos, I have no idea.

Hope this helps.

Manuel in Oz

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General Motors Australia had assembly plants in Brisbane Queensland, Sydney New South Wales, Melbourne Victoria, Adelaide South Australia and Perth in Western Australia ( people on the east coast always forget about Western Australia which always amazes us because it's a third of the country!!! )

According to Norm Darwin in his book 100 Years of GM in Australia GM production figures were 1926 ( 26,281 ) 1927 ( 34,824 ) 1928 ( 32,744 ) 1929 ( 25,609 ) and of course the great depression had a devastating effect here as well and production in 1930 dropped to only 9,876 units.

From what I have read it seems GM had about 1/3 of the motor vehicle market in this period. Ford had established a plant in Geelong Victoria by 1926 and would also have had a lions share of the market.

The vehicles were imported from the US in CKD form and assembled in one of the Australian plants. Local content varied over the years and originaly was mainly body construction. Interestingly it seems when new models were to be released in the US body blueprints were sent to General Motors Australia so a stockpile of bodies could be ready to fit as soon as the new models arrived, that way release dates could be closer to the US release date.

Because of the size of Australia and very low population numbers there was limited public transport so motor vehicles were extremely important in developing the country and ownership of a car was essential for day to day living for most people, especially those in the country.

Because of our dry climate many early cars survived reasonably well and the restoration of Veteran, Vintage and Classic cars has been a hobby in this country for the past 50 years.

Come down and see us some time!

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gc`bvNew Zealand is a country with a temperate climate and a population of 4 million and comprises 2 main islands, each being roughly 1,000 miles long and 100 miles wide.

In the 1920s over 50% of our vehicles were of American manufacture as they were built stronger and better able to withstand our rugged terrain and abysmal roads.This ratio declined in favour of firstly vehicles of British origin due to preferential tariffing and secondly vehicles of Japanese origin upon the collapse of the British motor industry.

American vehicles were sourced by the franchised dealers out of Canada by virtue of them attracting lower sales taxes because Canada was a fellow commonwealth member. From the late 1920s to the late 90s most new vehicles were shipped here crated knocked down ( C.K.D.) and assembled here predominantly at the bottom of the North Island, again to avoid paying more tax than necessary.

While Australian G.M. products were predominantly Holden bodied and differed somewhat from the cowl back to the North American vehicles, here in New Zealand most were Fisher bodied and identical to their U.S. and Canadian counterparts with the exception of being right hand drive.

Sales of new Buicks by G.M. franchises ended in N.Z. in 1952 or 53 due to the factories ceasing production of R.H.D. variants, whilst a few Chevs and Canadian Pontiacs were available until the early 70's in factory R.H.D.

Survival rates of all American vehicles here would be at the higher end of a world scale because of their strength and lively performance, our relatively kind climate, and mainly because their high value relative to average income dictated that they be kept on the road by some creative and innovative means for many years longer than their envisioned use-by date.

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wow i definitely gotta go to australia someday. one thing im jealous of are some of the gm and ford cars that are sold ONLY down there. like the 70s ford falcon, which was kept as is through the late 70s apparently, not turned into a landbarge!

and just the fact that its as far from everything as you can get.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is one of the rarer cars produced only in Australia.

It's a 1937 Buick enlosed coupe or what has become known as a "37 Sloper" because of the shape of the roofline.

Produced from 1936 through to 1938 in Buicks but through to 1940 in other GM vehicles like Chevrolet

A few of these remain ( various years) but are quite rare and now highly sought after.


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