Originally posted by kinobi
i thought only the firewall was from Japan and the rest from BHP?
Nope, a bit more than that. Automotive skin panels are very specialised and although BHPSteel has the technology and capability to make it, it just can't be justified financially. Anyone remember the AU bake-hardenable panels, a big point was made about their weight saving on the AU's release when they were sourced from BHP. They are now sourced overseas.
Australia produces only about 1% of the annual world steel production. To economically produce this stuff you are better off if you can dedicate whole steel plants to it's production which is exactly what the Japanese and Koreans do. Whereas the Australian industry produces steel sheet for whitegoods (refrigerators, washing machines etc), cans (petfood, canned fruit & veg, soups), drums (paint, 200l/44gal etc), building industry (roofing, walling, fencing, rainwater goods), the auto industry as described above, guard rails etc, etc.
I imagine a lot of the other components in Venom XR's list are now sourced offshore for the same reason - economies of scale. The Aussie auto industry is miniscule in a global perspective.
Remember though Australia is a huge producer of auto components itself which are exported elsewhere. GM 4cyl (and soon to be V6) engines for example. Also many alloy wheels are sourced from here or NZ. At one time I think all Mercedes were fitted with King Springs from Oz.