The Federal Government’s announcement in the May Budget that it will introduce an Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund recognises the value of Australia’s automotive industry and will help turbocharge Australian manufacturing into the 21st century.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says Australia has a world-class capacity for the design and development of new vehicles. The Australian automotive industry plays an important role in international product development. It competes globally and designs and engineers a complete range of automotive components, including body and chassis systems, electrical and control systems, drivelines, interiors and specialist factory accessories.

Although the three domestic automotive manufacturers will cease manufacturing motor vehicles in Australia by the end of 2017, they have each announced they will maintain considerable research and development capabilities in Australia, which will contribute to their global vehicle design and development capabilities. These local capabilities range from concept designs and product development through to product adaptation and technical facilities.

Nissan Australia also maintains a seven-days-per-week manufacturing operation at its casting plant at Dandenong South. From that plant Nissan provides a range of high-pressure die-cast, machined and assembled components exported to Renault-Nissan Alliance plants around the world, including for production of the technically advanced Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.

The government’s plan to reduce tariffs on vehicles and components for prototyping and development of global platforms will assist the automotive brands and companies in the supply chain to continue their high-value, innovation-intensive design and product development operations.

Australia has a long and proud history in automotive design and development. The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund supports the evolution of the domestic automotive industry into the 21st century.

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