New body to help car component makers

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has formed a body to promote the local automotive components manufacturing sector by focusing on innovation and export expansion.

The Automotive Products Manufacturers and Exporters Council (APMEC) will endeavour to assist member companies engaged in producing automotive products for both the original equipment and aftermarket sectors.

According to AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity “APMEC will conduct research to identify and quantify business opportunities for Australian component manufacturers. It will also go the next step to formulate new and innovative ways for members to expand their businesses.”

The final closure of Australia’s car making industry sometime in 2017 will hit the automotive sector hard.

Recent research by UTS for the Auto CRC estimates about 50 per cent or more of companies will simply cease to exist when the local car makers have all closed their doors.

“A handful – 10 to 15 per cent – that are repositioning and diversifying in global value chains and will survive and do well, and another percentage – maybe 20 per cent – could make it if only they were given that additional assistance to develop their capability and access to global value chains,” Professor Roy Green, Dean of the UTS Business School, recently told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

The Opposition has signalled that a future Labor Government would seek to continue funding to car component makers even after 2017.

As it stands, the scheme will cease by the end of 2017 when Ford, Holden and Toyota have all stopped making cars in this country.

The Government plans no such changes, but claims the three respective Free Trade Agreements Australia has made with China, Japan, and South Korea will help the car component sector.

While the strategy and activities of the APMEC will be determined by a leadership team drawn from its membership, the AAAA will provide resources to support those volunteers. AAAA Senior Manager Government Relations and Advocacy Lesley Yates will be the APMEC Project Manager. The inaugural Council will be led by Dayco Australia Managing Director Arnold Mouw.