Release time : 2015-06-13 10:42:05
LAUNCESTON automotive manufacturer ACL Skateboard Bearings Co is yet to learn the detail of the Federal Government's $3.4 billion car industry support package, but it is encouraged by yesterday's announcement.
The long-established company is Australia's only maker of engine Ceramic Bearings and automotive powder metallurgy products and supplies the four domestic vehicle manufacturers as well as exporting to 55 countries.
General manager Chris Brooks said the company was still gathering information on the 10-year package.
"Our initial review of the information suggests it's very positive for the industry, with encouragement for investment," Mr Brooks said.
"It also acknowledges that manufacturing, and more importantly Needle roller Bearings manufacturing, is a very strong contributor and important to the Australian economy."
He said the program provided a framework for investment in research and development, innovation and skills enhancement that would contribute to the sustainability of the industry.
ACL, which employs nearly 300 people at its Rocherlea plant, has had to fight to survive in recent years as the Australian automotive industry has contracted in the face of globalisation.
In April, the company received a $2 million Federal Government grant with the State Government contributing $330,000 and major customers Ford, Holden and Toyota also providing financial support.
"That was of invaluable assistance to us through that period," Mr Brooks said.
The company is also hoping to benefit from the Australian- made hybrid-engined Toyota Camry when production starts in 2010.
"We're waiting for more information at this stage but again that's a positive with the extra volume that's planned to come into the domestic (manufacturing) base.
"We would hope there would be some potential involvement for us."
The latest development also provided some optimism, he said.
Mr Rudd's package includes:
#8226;$3.4 billion assistance program from 2011 to 2020.
#8226;$79.6 million for the transition to a greener automotive industry.
#8226;$116.3 million to help the component manufacturing sector.
#8226;$20 million from 2009-10 to help improve supply chains.
#8226;$6.3 million from 2009-10 for an enhanced market access program.
#8226;Creation of a new automotive industry innovation council.
#8226;$10.5 million for the expansion of the LPG scheme for new vehicles