Automotive

About the automotive industry

The Australian automotive manufacturing industry comprises firms involved in motor vehicle manufacturing, motor vehicle body and trailer manufacturing, automotive electrical component manufacturing and other motor vehicle parts manufacturing.

In regards to domestic passenger motor vehicle manufacturing, the three passenger motor vehicle producers, Ford, Holden and Toyota, have each announced they will cease manufacturing in Australia over the coming years. Ford ceased manufacturing on 7 October 2016, while Holden and Toyota will cease manufacturing in October 2017. Each of the motor vehicle producers have cited the high cost of manufacturing, a highly competitive and fragmented domestic market and changing consumer preferences as reasons for why they will no longer manufacture vehicles in Australia.

Automotive manufacturing statistics

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

Employment

44,342

40,642

39,271

Industry Value Added ($m)

4,171

3,726

3,596

Sales and Service income ($m)

20,051

17,528

17,993

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Government programmes

  • Advanced Manufacturing Fund
    On 4 May 2017, the Australian Government announced the $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund to drive innovation in Australia’s manufacturing sector to create jobs, grow businesses, improve productivity and be globally competitive. The Fund will: encourage further research; invest in emerging engineers and scientists; provide facilities to test new products; and develop business capability. Importantly, support to advanced manufacturing businesses will encourage investment in new processes and equipment to ensure that they are world-leaders in competitive global markets.

    More information is available at industry.gov.au
  • Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS)
    The ATS is a legislated entitlement scheme which encourages competitive investment and innovation in the automotive industry. The ATS will provide up to $2.5 billion in capped assistance and approximately $337 million in uncapped assistance from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2020.

    More information is available at business.gov.au
  • Automotive Diversification Programme (ADP)
    A $20 million programme to assist Australian automotive supply chain companies to diversify out of the domestic automotive manufacturing sector and thereby retain manufacturing capability in Australia. The ADP is one element of the Growth Fund. Refer below for more information on the Growth Fund.

    More information is available at business.gov.au
  • Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Programme (AISAP)
    AISAP provides labour adjustment funding for training and assistance to displaced automotive workers.

    More information is available at employment.gov.au

Diversification Case Studies

The following case studies showcase some of the companies that have successfully diversified from the automotive industry.

  • Backwell IXL
    Backwell IXL has grown from manufacturing automotive components in metal stampings, finishing, roll forming and assembly for all three car manufacturers, to successfully diversifing the business to design and manufacture heating consumer goods for bathrooms (i.e. the IXL Tastic, a 3 in 1 bathroom heat, vent and light product, the Neo Tastic, a fan, light and heater combination, as well as a range of Cannon Gas space heaters). The third arm to the business is a ferrous foundry, supplying castings to the resource industry and as a Tier 2 supplier through its customers to the global market. Backwell has received funding under a range of programmes, including the Automotive Diversification Programme.
  • Precision Components
    Precision Components is a leading Australian specialist in the development, manufacture and supply of specialised press metal, fabricated components and assembly solutions across a wide range of industries. The company has successfully diversified the business from manufacturing automotive components to an advanced manufacturer of heliostats using the skills developed in the automotive industry (Heliostat mirrors track the position of the sun, allowing greater energy output per square meter). Precision Components has received funding under a range of programmes, including the Automotive Diversification Programme.
  • Samvardhana Motherson Reflectec (SMR)
    SMR Automotive Australia has manufactured and distributed rear-view mirrors and related products for the global automotive sector for more than 25 years. The company has successfully diversified the business by investing heavily in research and development, engineering and design skills, and lean, automated and highly efficient manufacturing production processes. It now competes in the medical devices and clean technologies sectors. The company recently established a new division, SMR Technologies, which is seeking to develop products in markets requiring precision, highly engineered, moulded and electronic component combinations. SMR has received funding under a range of programmes, including Automotive Diversification Programme.
  • Dolphin Products Pty Ltd
    Dolphin Products has been manufacturing high precision injection moulded plastic components since 1946. The company has diversified into existing and emerging industries with its range of plastic products and it is now a leader in explosive and blasting systems for the mining industry. Dolphin Products benefited from Automotive Diversification Programme (ADP) funding to move into a new mining product manufacturing role.

Other information/reports

  • Evaluation of the LPG Vehicle Scheme
    The executive summary of the report Evaluation of the LPG Vehicle Scheme evaluates the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Vehicle Scheme. It concludes that, overall, the administration and delivery of the LPG Vehicle Scheme appears to have been efficient and effective.
  • Productivity Commission's Report on Australia's Automotive Manufacturing Industry - Government's Response
    In October 2013, the Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into public support for Australia's automotive manufacturing industry, including passenger motor vehicle and automotive component production. On 26 August 2014, the Productivity Commission's final report was tabled and the Government's response |  was released.
  • Australian Government Economic Review of South Australia and Victoria
    Following the announced departure of Holden and Ford, the Australian Government conducted reviews of the South Australian and Victorian economies to inform the development of a growth fund to support economically responsible initiatives in regions facing pressure in their manufacturing sectors. On 30 April 2014, the Australian Government announced a $155 million Growth Fund to help industry adjust to the end of car manufacturing in Australia by 2017. The Report of the reviews, Growing Opportunities: South Australian and Victorian Comparative Advantages, has been released. More information on the Growth Fund and the Report of the reviews is available.
  • Senate Inquiry into the Future of Australia’s Automotive Industry
    On 25 November 2014, the Senate referred an inquiry on the future of Australia’s automotive industry to the Senate Economics References Committee. The report was released on 1 December 2015.

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