The Secret Broker: Holden on to the past
The Secret Broker
The Secret Broker
After 35 years of stockbroking for some of the biggest houses and investors in Australia and the UK, the Secret Broker is regaling Stockhead readers with his colourful war stories — from the trading floor to the dealer’s desk.
I read a joke the other day, which went something like this:
A 15-year-old Australian boy takes it upon himself to conduct a social experiment, where he is going to wear the same tee shirt every day for the next two weeks and on it, it has a large Ford Motor Company logo on the front and back.
After three days his father asked him how this social experiment was going and he replied that so far, he had been verbally abused, slapped around the head, punched in the mouth and spat at.
His father responded, “Well son, can you imagine what is going to happen to you when you do leave the house?”
I thought it summed up perfectly the Australian father fuelled rivalry between Ford and Holden fans and then this week…… BOOM, Holden comes out and says it is completely pulling out of Australia.
So, another piece of Australian culture slowly dies as General Motors has decided that building right hand drive cars is just too hard, and ladies and gentlemen if you are a loyal fan and still want one of their cars, you will have to get it converted over.
All I could think about is how the Bathurst fans are going to feel, with half of them cheering on Ford and the other half cheering on well … nothing.
However, there is an Australian invention that motor sports fans can still be proud of, and that is ‘Racecam’.
It was introduced (and financially backed) by our own Channel 7 to Bathurst TV viewers in 1979.
On its introduction ‘Racecam’ was a technological revolution in live broadcasting.
It allowed viewers to see what the race car driver was seeing and not only that, the driver could talk the viewers through what was going on, as well as be interviewed by the commentator, all while doing 200kph down Conrod Straight.
It needed a helicopter flying above the car for the whole nine hours!
It was brilliant and exciting live television and made the Bathurst 1000 a hit around the world, which gave a real financial kick to the sport, as sponsors scrambled to get involved and car manufacturers jostled to get their latest performance cars on the grid.
Racecam made its way to NASCAR four years later in 1983 and is still being used at racing events around the world today.
Donald Trump knows about the power of wooing motor sports fans, as this week he did a lap of the hallowed Daytona 500 track in his Presidential car, which is known as ‘The Beast’.
It weighs over 6 tonnes and has a top speed of 80kph and ironically for Australian rev heads, it was developed and built by General Motors.
A hundred thousand motor fans loved the Presidents gesture, and to top it off he got the pilot of Airforce One to buzz the crowd at 800 feet as he was leaving to chants of “USA!, USA!”.
Not quite the send off our No.1 politician got when he last visited Australia’s racing mecca.
Not all is lost though in the land of Australian motor car technology though, as ASX-listed Carbon Revolution (ASX:CBR) makes carbon car wheels for manufactures. But seeing as there were no local ones, it had to aim straight for the export market, which meant raising more money than a normal float would need.
They are doing very well and are now valued at over $500m, so at least someone is flying the flag for the Australian car industry.
The government on the other hand is keen to fly the flag for other countries, announcing in December a change from the proudly home built Holden Caprice car fleet to a mixture of petrol powered German BMW’s and Toyota hybrids. So despite all of the politicians chest beating, shock and disgust at General Motors decision, one suspects they knew all along.
This means that when foreign dignitaries arrive on official business, they will be picked up not in a Holden but in a BMW or Camry. And upon arrival at Kirribilli House, the only bit of embarrassment that can be saved is when opening the door for them, the Prime Minster can proudly say “Did you know your journey was made possible via good old Australian manufacturing?”
“What the car?” the dignitaries will enquire.
“No, the wheel rims”
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.
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