Cuts to the Automotive Transformation Scheme will hasten a collapse of the local car industry and further reduce the ability of workers to move to other industries, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon warns.Treasurer Joe Hockey says the Federal Government will save $618.5 million over eight years by ending the scheme from January 2018.He says it reflects the decisions by car makers to end their Australian manufacturing by the end of 2017, Holden at the end of that year and Ford in late 2016.Ending the scheme will save the Government $176.7 million in 2018-19, $95.2 million the next year and $28.6 million in 2020-21.Senator Xenophon says the Government has added to a bleak outlook for car workers."It means that there will be a manifestly inadequate $400 million left in the scheme from 2015," he said."They have simply chopped the scheme off at 2018 without bringing that funding forward to the years in which it could make a real difference to the automotive supply chain. "The consequence of that is that there won't be a chance for the industry to restructure and transition for the 10,000-plus jobs that are involved in the automotive products sector."The Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers agrees the changes to industry support will affect the job prospects of thousands of automotive workers and their families.Its chief executive Richard Reilly says it is a blow for automotive sector research and development."The budget announcement means that there's going to be $500 million pulled out of the Automotive Transformation Scheme, a scheme that assists automotive component manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers to undertake research and development projects and undertake investment as well in their businesses," he said.The Government also has axed an automotive sector jobs support measure announced by the former Labor government just before last year's election.It says that will mean about $1 billion over five years will become available to support car manufacturers and supply chain companies while the Automotive Transformation Scheme is still operating.Ending an assistance program for Ford workers will save the Government $4.1 million over three years.Mr Hockey says support for workers affected by Ford's decision to end local manufacturing in late 2016 now will be provided as part of the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program.Unions are upset with the changes to car industry support.Andrew Dettmer of the Manufacturing Workers Union says automotive workers are more vulnerable than ever."We now have a situation where they're doubling and redoubling that pain for automotive workers and fundamentally changing the goalposts after they've started the game, it's reprehensible," he said.