Credit squeeze cutting trailer manufacturing jobs

Finance shortage hits MaxiTRANS, as economic crisis slashes sales and leads to job cuts

By Gary Worrall

A shortage of finance for prospective trailer buyers is hurting MaxiTRANS, despite the success of the Rudd Government’s stimulus package, MaxiTRANS Managing Director Michael Brockhoff says.

Speaking exclusively with ATN, Brockhoff says the level of customer enquiries is still healthy, however would-be purchasers are finding their plans stymied by a lack of credit.

"The initiatives are good, the infrastructure projects are good, all of that has created new enquiries, but they cannot get credit approval," Brockhoff says.

As a result, MaxiTRANS will this week axe 54 jobs, with remaining staff tipped to scale back to working nine day fortnights.

As a manufacturer, Brockhoff says he cannot see a quick way out of the situation unless clients are able to obtain finance to purchase new equipment.

While he is enthusiastic about the federally funded stimulus package, Brickhoff says he is concerned that if the credit squeeze on new transport equipment is not fixed then the infrastructure projects could grind to a halt through a lack of available logistical support.

His comments were echoed by the Senior Executive of Truck Group at Daimler Trucks, Carlo Beltrame, who says similar problems are affecting new truck sales.

Despite low interest rates and fuel prices, Beltrame says the pullout of major financiers has hurt sales, with the remaining providers enforcing much harder guidelines on all applications.

"It is definitely a challenge, the enquiry rate is high, but it is difficult for them to get the money to complete the deal," Beltrame says.

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