Truck manufacturing a national good news story

Senate economic references committee hears how it’s not all doom and gloom in automotive manufacturing

Truck manufacturing a national good news story
The TIC made presentations to the Senate Economic References committee last week


A Senate committee has praised Australia’s truck manufacturing sector for its innovation and customer focus. It says it will encourage the government to consider new ways to offer its support.

The cross-party Economics References committee invited presentations from the Truck Industry Council (TIC) and manufacturers at its meeting in Melbourne on October 8. Council CEO Tony McMullan says he was able to deliver a rare "good news" story of local manufacturing keeping up with imported competition.

"We have been manufacturing trucks here since the early 1950s and the total is now above 340,000 vehicles," McMullan says.

"In every case their local content by value exceeds their imported content.

"Last year, 48 percent of heavy trucks (above 16.5 tonnes) were designed and manufactured in Australia with an average sale price in excess of $200,000.

"This strength is showing no signs of abating."

Tasmanian senator David Bushby says it is clear truck manufacturers have successfully innovated their designs and processes to meet the changing demands of their customers.

"The truck manufacturing industry is a genuine Australian success story which plays an important role in designing and manufacturing high quality trucking inventory for the demands of the local transport industry," he says.

"Through innovation, tailoring product and being acutely connected with customer requirements, the industry has punched above its weight in remaining competitive against foreign competitors."

Bushby, along with fellow committee members senators Chris Ketter (Queensland), Ricky Muir, Kim Carr, and Janet Rice (all Victoria) thanked the TIC for revealing an-often forgotten side to Australia’s automotive sector.

"I look forward to witnessing the future success of the Australian truck manufacturing industry and as a member of the Senate Economics Committee I will explore any strategies that the industry puts forward to generate further local production stimulus," he says.

The TIC is lobbying for well-designed incentives and support to help the industry engage in more advanced manufacturing processes and allow local transport operators to modernise their fleets.

"There is a strategic imperative for Australia to have a more modern, productive, safer, cleaner and greener truck fleet," McMullan says.

"There is much to be gained from a program that modernises the Australian truck fleet through the provision of investment allowances."

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