By Bayside Group Automotive

Jan 9, 2019

Australian automotive: An industry in transition

Australia’s automotive industry is in a period of transition. Industry giants Ford, Holden and Toyota have all closed their manufacturing operations in the country, but this does not signal the end of the industry. In fact, each has retained significant sales, distribution engineering, design and product development functions here.


Government support gives the industry new life

To support communities that are affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing operations, the Federal Government has announced the Automotive Transformation Scheme that operates until 2020. The focus of these initiatives is to give automotive workers, component makers and businesses in the manufacturing supply chain the opportunity to enter new markets. With their unique skills they have the potential to give their new markets a competitive edge internationally.

This scheme is designed to encourage investment and innovation in the Australian automotive industry. It offers cash payments of up to 15% for businesses investing in plant and equipment in the industry and up to 50% of the cost of research and development. Additional cash payments are also available for businesses that are involved in the production of motor vehicles, engines or engine components.

The scheme also includes a $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Fund. This will fund several initiatives including an Automotive Innovation Labs Program, an Automotive Engineering Graduate Program and an Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund. These initiatives are intended to increase access to design and test facilities for automotive products, increase the pipeline of trained engineers for the industry and help car-related businesses transition into new industries.

In addition, the $155 million Growth Fund has given assistance to workers involved in the automotive supply chain. This fund has helped redundant workers find new jobs, upskill so they can transfer to new roles and help businesses in the automotive supply chain diversify into new markets.


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State government programs support workers in transition

Victoria and South Australia are the States most affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing operations in Australia. They have both also introduced initiatives to support workers and businesses to transition into new industries.

South Australia’s Drive Your Future initiative offers a range of services including training, skill development programs, advice on how to set up a small business and financial advice to workers who are looking to move into a new market or industry.

Victoria’s Automotive Transition Plan is focused on helping automotive supply chain businesses, workers and communities plan for their next move. This includes the establishment of skills and job centres to give workers access to training and career advice as well as skills assessments. Businesses are also given support to help them identify new markets and transition into them, including funding for businesses to implement new manufacturing technology.

While transition can be daunting, for businesses and workers involved in the automotive industry the potential opportunities are exciting.

To find out more about how you or your business can take advantage of the transition programs partner with an agency who understands the automotive industry.

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