While Automotive Components Limited (ACL) directors have put the company in the hands of receivers, the company will continue to trade to ensure continuity of supply to the automotive industry.
Receivers, Greg Keith and Matt Byrnes of Grant Thornton Melbourne, say they will work closely with all key stakeholders including the Union, management, employees, State and Federal Governments, key customers and suppliers, to ensure the best possible outcome for ACL.
ACL, which supplies critical components including engine bearings and gaskets to the automotive industry, employs over 300 people across its two sites in Tasmania and Queensland.
Industry minister Senator Kim Carr, said the Federal Government will continue to work with the receivers and administrators of ACL, with Ford and Toyota, and with unions and workers to try and avoid disruption for the automotive industry.
“Our primary concern is for the welfare of the automotive industry workers in Launceston and across Australia,” Senator Carr said.
“The receiver-managers will be seeking buyers for ACL, and will not be taking a short-term view of the matter.
“Economic conditions have prompted Launceston-based ACL to review its financial position, and it has decided that its business model is no longer viable.
“Grant Thornton intends that ACL will continue trading and ensure continuity of supply to the automotive industry.
“The receiver-managers met today with AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver and ACL union members.
“ACL is a critical parts supplier to the Australian automotive industry and there is a danger that production at Ford and Toyota will be affected if supply is interrupted.
“In June this year an industry-led plan for ACL was announced, involving the Government in partnership with Ford, Toyota, the AMWU and the Federation of Automotive Product Manufacturers,” Carr said.
ACL has been provided with $5 million from the Commonwealth towards a $21.7 million, 17-point restructuring plan, which was aimed at securing the company’s future.
“The Government acted to stabilise not just ACL, but the Australian automotive industry as a whole at a very uncertain time — a time when the world was in recession, America’s General Motors was in bankruptcy protection, and the entire global car industry was in turmoil.
“Doing nothing was not an option given the strategic importance of ACL to the broader industry.
“The task now is to focus on the needs of the workers and on maintaining production of the essential components required by Ford and Toyota.
“In the unfortunate event that workers are made redundant, the Government will provide immediate assistance to help them find new jobs — including opportunities to retrain if necessary,” Senator Carr said.