Two leading Victorian automotive components suppliers have secured exports deals worth $50 million with the Malaysian car manufacturer, Proton.
Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade Richard Dalla-Riva said the deals were signed during Australian Automotive Week in Melbourne, which for the first time this year was held concurrently with Melbourne’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.
“While the Grand Prix is a major tourist drawcard for Victoria, Australian Automotive Week has become a key forum for engagement between Victorian manufacturers and international buyers,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
Speaking at the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mr Dalla-Riva said Auto Week this year had provided impetus for major auto industry contracts which would generate more investment and new jobs in Victoria's advanced automotive manufacturing industry.
“There has been a hive of activity behind the scenes with 117 international and interstate business delegates attending Auto Week, the Grand Prix and a series of auto industry conferences,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
“This had led to the signing of a series of business agreements which will benefit the Victorian economy.
“One is a significant partnership deal between Victorian-based spotlight supplier HELLA and Malaysia’s Proton Cars. This partnership is a direct result of HELLA joining a Victorian Government trade-mission to India where they were able to meet with international buyers and secure this deal.
“This is a $40 million export contract to supply rear lamps for Proton vehicles which was able to come to fruition because of a recognition that HELLA provides a competitive advantage in terms of technology and a 350-strong skilled workforce.
“Victorian based MtM Pty Ltd has also won a contract to supply gear shift lock mechanisms to Proton cars worth $10 million over five years. This builds on MtM’s export of door check links to General Motors in the USA.”
Mr Dalla-Riva said the announcements followed last week’s agreement Tomcar Australia and MtM Auto would manufacture the first all-terrain vehicle to be made in Australia.
“This historic deal will see the production of up to 5,000 Tomcars in South Oakleigh over the next five years, the creation of more than 50 direct jobs and up to 300 downstream jobs - reaffirming Victoria’s status as the hub of the nation’s automotive manufacturing industry,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
Thailand’s Sammitr Motors Manufacturing Pty Ltd has also committed to establishing a research and development centre in Melbourne and will set up a joint venture with a local Victorian company Proex Automotive in Dandenong to supply canopies for the commercial vehicle market.
“The level of interest in doing business during Auto Week shows the international regard for Victorian research and development, engineering and design,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
“The Victorian Government’s manufacturing strategy has complemented this activity through measures designed to improve productivity, generate innovation and boost skill levels.”