New ‘Automotive Products Manufacturers & Exporters Council’

A new Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) initiative will promote the interests and growth of the local automotive components manufacturing sector by focusing on innovation and export expansion.

The AAAA has formed the Automotive Products Manufacturers and Exporters Council (APMEC) to support our large, diverse and internationally competitive automotive components manufacturing sector. This Council will assist member companies engaged in producing automotive products for both the original equipment and aftermarket sectors and is open to businesses engaged in research, design, product development or production.

AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity said APMEC is a natural extension of the Association’s operations. “AAAA has operated successful 4 Wheel Drive and Performance Racing and Tuning Industry Councils for many years to support these specialist sectors of the Australian automotive aftermarket,” said Stuart Charity.

“These AAAA Industry Councils actively advocate on behalf of member businesses to promote growth opportunities and also act as networking and information exchange groups. They have been very effective at expanding markets for Australian automotive components.

“The APMEC will conduct research to identify and quantify business opportunities for Australian component manufacturers. It will also go the next step to formulate new and innovative ways for members to expand their businesses.

“This is an exciting AAAA initiative. APMEC is about high end manufacturing growth and more skilled jobs for Australia,” said Stuart Charity.

While the strategy and activities of the APMEC will be determined by a leadership team drawn from its membership, the AAAA will provide resources to support those volunteers. AAAA Senior Manager Government Relations and Advocacy Lesley Yates will be the APMEC Project Manager.

APMEC Launched with 80 Company Members
Lesley Yates said interest in APMEC membership is high. “As we launch APMEC it already has 80 company members,” she said. “Given the wide range and high skill levels of Australian automotive design and manufacturing businesses, we expect membership to reach about 260.

“The automotive components sector in Australia is not dead. While the original equipment segment will lose its local vehicle manufacturer customers by 2017, the aftermarket has shown the way to success with innovation and exports. APMEC will pave the way for all automotive component makers to follow this successful business model.

“AAAA members are now exporting more than $800 million worth of product each year. This is evidence that the global automotive market recognises Australian manufacturers’ innovation and quality production.

“An impressive internationally experienced team volunteered to act as an establishment Committee for the upcoming year to finalise the APMEC charter and action plans for AAAA National Council approval. From 2016, the Committee will be elected by APMEC members for two year terms,” said Lesley Yates.

The inaugural Council will be led by Dayco Australia Managing Director Arnold Mouw. “While government previously recognised and supported only the manufacturing segment supplying local vehicle manufacturers, all other automotive businesses had to work independently to build their local and international markets,” he said.

“APMEC will be a welcome addition to Australia’s automotive landscape. It will help companies develop products and access new markets,” said Arnold Mouw.

Other APMEC Committee members are industry leaders from Composite Materials Engineering, Dana Australia, Don Kyatt Group, Lumen Australia, Mackay Consolidated Industries, MtM Auto, Penrite Oil Company, Pedders Suspension, ZF and advice will be provided by a co-opted Committee member from corporate advisors Grant Thornton Australia.

Membership Benefits
Lesley Yates said that APMEC membership can help all Australian automotive component businesses. “Working collaboratively, APMEC members will effectively influence governments’ industry and trade policies to remove impediments and to improve research, product design and development infrastructure and incentives.

“APMEC will also deliver opportunities for members to directly participate in export initiatives. This can include participation in key international trade exhibitions, such as the Frankfurt and Middle East Automechanika shows, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association and Performance Racing Industry shows in the USA.

“In addition, members will receive complimentary Export Council of Australia membership, listing in the internationally distributed AAAA Exporters Directories and assistance with international market missions.

“These benefits are available at a very modest investment – companies become APMEC members by paying a small surcharge on their AAAA membership fee,” said Lesley Yates.

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