Ford's normally busy factory is deserted and eerily quiet. For two weeks the carmaker and dozens of its component suppliers are on a temporary shutdown to cut costs amid slack demand.
"Far worse is coming," says Anthony Anderson, a shop steward who has worked for 30 years at the plant in Geelong, a coastal city of 225,000 people deep in Australia's manufacturing heartland near Melbourne.
"This assembly plant is closing in two years and with it will go thousands of jobs at component suppliers across the region," he says.
It is almost a year since Ford said it would stop making cars in Australia, blaming a strong Aussie dollar, high labor costs and Asian competition. General Motors and Toyota followed when the new government declined to offer extra subsidies, declaring an end to an "era of entitlement" that saw carmakers gobble A$30 billion (US$28 billion) in taxpayer assistance between 1997 and 2012.