AAAA Welcomes Australian Manufacturing Development Funding Announcements in Federal Budget

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), congratulates the Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, along with South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, on their tireless efforts to secure the Government’s Federal Budget inclusion of the new Advanced Manufacturing Fund of $100 million to support the Australian manufacturing industry, as announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison during his Federal Budget presentation to Parliament on Tuesday May 9.

As a part of the Federal Government’s National Budget, Mr Morrison announced that the new Advanced Manufacturing Fund will include funds to help businesses upgrade their processes and equipment along with providing valuable support for research projects in advanced manufacturing. This will include the establishment of Innovation Labs to help businesses develop new products for global markets.

CLICK HERE to view the media release from Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.

According to AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity, these new Federal Government funding initiatives have the potential to considerably increase Australia’s manufacturing range to meet the demands of the ever growing and technologically advanced global automotive aftermarket industry.

“We are very excited that the Federal Government is interested in our concept of establishing Innovation Labs in Australia,” Mr Charity stated.

“The AAAA first proposed the initiative of creating an Automotive Innovation Lab to both the Federal and State Governments back in 2014, following our study visit to the highly successful SEMA Garage the United States. On our return to Australia, we gained the support of 25 automotive component manufacturers to fund a feasibility study, the results of which will outline the strongest possible case for some of this new funding to be directed to the establishment of the Australian Automotive Innovation Lab,” Mr Charity added.

It is important to note that this sector of Australian auto component manufacturing is actually growing year on year, with 260 AAAA member companies manufacturing world class products locally with 160 of these companies exporting their premium quality products to markets all over the world. Australia’s innovative and globally competitive automotive component manufacturers and exporters will remain long after the car manufacturing industry departs our shores.

Mr Charity is confident that with the support of an Innovation Lab for Australian automotive industry manufacturers, enormous growth potential will exist for AAAA member companies. This of course is highly dependent on the Innovation Lab being established and overseen by people who thoroughly understand the local and global automotive aftermarket industry.

“It is important to note that the Innovation Lab concept is a real world, highly practical industry led solution that is backed by detailed studies, the counsel of our own successful AAAA manufacturer member businesses and global automotive aftermarket component demand research. It is a concept that can significantly reduce product design timelines and bring enormous benefits to local automotive component manufacturers who are currently sending people overseas to use such facilities. There is no doubt that the introduction of an Innovation Lab for the Australian automotive aftermarket industry will almost immediately deliver results if it is overseen by automotive aftermarket industry manufacturing experts,” Mr Charity said.

“For our industry, the AAAA is best positioned to oversee the establishment, operation and success of the Automotive Innovation Lab, which is why we have been discussing this concept with Governments over the past 24 months. It is great that the Government is listening to our industry and understanding the importance of supporting Australian manufacturers with this important Federal Budget announcement,” Mr Charity added.

The AAAA is the nation’s peak automotive servicing, repair, parts, tool, equipment and component supply and manufacturing industry group, representing more than 2,250 member companies. Automotive aftermarket manufacturing represents 36% of all automotive manufacturing in Australia, equating to a $5.2 billion injection to the Australian economy per annum. It is also important to note that the automotive aftermarket manufacturing sector alone employs 21,000 people directly and exports $800 million per year of locally manufactured product from 160 Australian manufacturers.

After the completion of the feasibility study in June, the AAAA will formally submit a tender to the Federal Government for the Australian Automotive Innovation Lab to become a recipient of one of the new Advanced Manufacturing Fund’s Innovation Lab grants.

The AAAA strongly supports the Australian Manufacturing Development Funding announcements made  in this year’s Federal Budget. The peak Automotive servicing, repair, parts, tool, equipment and component supply and manufacturing industry group is to submit a tender to the Federal Government to establish an Australian Automotive Innovation Lab to provide product development support to more than 260 Australian automotive component manufacturers.

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