The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has established a new council to support the components industry beyond the manufacturing exit of Ford, Holden and Toyota over the next two years.
Chaired by Dayco Australia managing director Arnold Mouw, the Automotive Products Manufacturers and Exporters Council (APMEC) was set up to fill the gap left by the closure of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers (FAPM), which was placed into voluntary liquidation last year.
According to the AAAA, the council will assist component manufacturers for both the original equipment and aftermarket sectors “and is open to businesses engaged in research, design, product development or production”.
The goal is to help generate new business opportunities domestically and via exports.
With around 90 members currently on-board and more than 200 expected before long, Mr Mouw said there was an obvious need for “a positive platform that researches and advocates positive policy, and facilitates action to meet the challenges of the global marketplace”.
“This council is providing that platform,” he said. “Our goal is to ensure continued growth for the many competent companies currently competing successfully in international markets for automotive components, parts and accessories.
“We also want to inspire non-exporting businesses to explore the diverse opportunities available. We want to encourage them to take the next step beyond local manufacturing and begin exporting their products.
“Australian automotive manufacturers have some great advantages. We have all the core ingredients for success – a skilled workforce, good infrastructure and financial systems, and accessible sophisticated design, engineering and production technologies.
“Our automotive manufacturers have established an international reputation as suppliers of high quality products that meet exacting manufacturing standards. We must capitalise on these advantages.”
AAAA executive director Stuart Charity added that new government policies were vital for promoting innovation, commercialisation of product concepts and growth in the sectors of the automotive industry that will remain after 2017.
“The loss of local car and component production could cost Australia about 35,000 direct jobs and many more thousands in indirect jobs. However, a strong components, parts and accessories sector can help back fill some of those lost jobs,” he said.
“To achieve that, we need a fresh and clear policy regime for Australia’s automotive industry. That regime must take into account the industry’s post-2017 realities.
“This new council will encourage governments to develop those policies. We must help the industry transition from a reliance on local car production to grow a robust sector that supplies both original equipment and aftermarket customers globally.”
As well as Mr Mouw, council representatives include Composite Materials Engineering managing director Brian Hughes, Dana Australia MD Peter Langworthy, Don Kyatt Spare Parts MD Frank Hutchison, Lumen Australia Group sales manager Rod Wilson, Mackay Consolidated Industries CEO Les Zanati, ZF Holdings Australia director Glenn Paine, Pedders Suspension MD Mark Pedder, Penrite Oil general manager Toby Dymond and Grant Thornton business advisors national head of manufacturing Mark Phillips.
The FAPM entered voluntary liquidation when its directors determined that the organisation had no future with the closure of all three car manufacturers and the subsequent impact on the Australian supply chain.
It is, however, maintaining a presence through the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC), with a secretariat in place until the end of 2017.