Ai Group: bright spots on the manufacturing horizon despite Toyota closure

Toyota Camry factory (supplied)

Ai Group has said that there is a reason for optimism despite upcoming closure of the Toyota Altona plant, this year.

Toyota announced the official closure timetable of its plant last Tuesday, with 2600 jobs to go when the plant closes on 3 October 2017.

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said that many high-value automotive component makers could be lost if not enough care is taken.

“It needs to remembered that our car assemblers have been pivotal points in complex supply chains that directly engage with over 200 high-value local components makers plus countless more local supplier businesses,” Willox said.

“These businesses are a valuable resource as are the 30,000 people (3 per cent of all manufacturing employment) that are still employed in automotive parts manufacturing, assembly and associated supply chains.”

Willox also said that many of component maker and supplier businesses are in technical, trades and professional roles and they have valuable knowledge that should not be lost. He also added that the companies should not be levied fringe benefits tax on these companies’ retraining of retrenched employees.

Manufacturing has been growing in Australia – the Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) has expanded for a fourth consecutive month, to a reading of 51.2 in January.