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Aussie car industry can grow again: Labor

AAP logoAAP 7/10/2016 Helen Velissaris

As the production line at Ford goes silent in Melbourne, Labor believes new life can be injected into the Australian car industry.

Ford ceased its local car production on Friday, with around 600 workers losing their jobs at plants in Broadmeadows and Geelong.

The company still employs around 2000 people in Australia including designers, engineers, product developers and marketers.

Holden and Toyota will cease manufacturing in Australia in 2017.

Labor senator Kim Carr says the government can build upon what remains of the car industry if policies are targeted right.

"I have every expectation we can grow the industry if we have the right government policies to attract new investment and new skills for the Australian automotive industry," he said on Friday.

Ford has been in Australia for more than 90 years producing popular models like the Falcon and Territory.

Many workers have been at the company their entire careers, including Ahmet Eren who got a job three days after arriving in Australia in the 1980s.

He worked at the Broadmeadows plant for 36 years.

He said his last day was not easy and will now retire at 58.

Many workers are facing unemployment, underemployment or early retirement, the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union says.

Australian Catholic University research has found only eight per cent are ready to retire but only 13 per cent have begun looking for new jobs.

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