Joint Strike Fighter supplier Quickstep has announced a “logical step” to becoming a major automotive supplier, and is expecting its first production order of components within weeks.
In a statement to the ASX, Quickstep (which listed in 2005) said it had received authorisation for up to 1,000 carbon fibre engine compartment parts, with production expected to commence early next year.
Managing Director David Marino said the parts would be made for the unnamed global car company in a short time frame, and would be the first phase in Quickstep’s automotive strategy.
“Over the next eighteen months, we will target small volume automotive projects, of about 500 to 2,000 parts per annum, as we increase our volume capability to secure larger projects,” he said in a statement.
The Bankstown-based composites technology company’s auto efforts had been the subject of a Quickstep/German government/Audi trial, which had run since 2011.
Last year it was granted $1.76 million under the Geelong Region Innovation Investment Fund, and announced it would set up an automotive headquarters and production facility in Waurn Ponds. It has also signed a letter of intent with Thales to produce composite comonents for the Hawkei vehicle.
There is predicted to be a big increase in demand for composite parts by automotive comanies, due to the demand for lighter, more economical vehicles.
“A few months back we were talking mainly to luxury car makers like Audi, but now we talk to – well, basically every single car manufacturer has an interest,” then-CEO (now Executive Director) Philippe Odouard told Manufacturers’ Monthly in November last year.