National Reconstruction Fund Signals New Confidence In Australia’s Automotive Industry

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) has welcomed the passing of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation Bill 2022, which will establish a $15 billion Australian Manufacturing Fund, with $5 billion available from its commencement.

The fund will target transport manufacturing and supply chains for cars, trains, and shipbuilding. According to the AAAA, many Australian automotive product and technology manufacturers will be well placed to benefit, leveraging their skills and knowledge to rebuild Australia’s industrial base.

“We are delighted to see the automotive industry specifically targeted in this new fund,” said Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA. “Australia has a critical role to play in the global automotive industry and we believe new technology for vehicle propulsion will see our industry grow and increase in significance on the world stage.”

“With many of our members looking at ways to adapt their business for the future, we are pleased to see this commitment, which demonstrates that the government has a strong focus on the whole of the automotive supply chain. We are gearing up for EVs, alternate fuels and new modification kits for global platform vehicles. We have a vision in which Australia continues to play an important role in the world automotive market.”

Arnold Mouw, Chairman of the Australian Automotive Product Manufacturers and Exporters’ Council (APMEC), applauded the new fund. “The whole of the automotive manufacturing supply chain is interested in the new technology roadmap. If we are to keep up with, and indeed, lead the world in automotive and transport technology, we need to be harnessing our home-grown initiatives and supporting our industries to have a vision for the future and make the right investments,” he said.

The AAAA said that the Australian automotive manufacturing industry has long missed out on targeted manufacturing investment, causing some manufacturers to head offshore to be cost-competitive, hurting local innovation and research and development.

“We hope that with the passing of this bill, many automotive manufacturers will be eligible for funding opportunities to expand their businesses and help build and maintain Australia’s manufacturing self-sufficiency,” added Charity.

“With the success of similar manufacturing funding models in other countries, AAAA looks forward to engaging with Minister [Ed] Husic on how we can best achieve shared goals for the Automotive Manufacturing Industry.