This week’s Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo saw the launch of an initiative designed to shape the future of Australia’s automotive aftermarket industry. AAAA Chief Executive Officer Stuart Charity announced the establishment of two Automotive Innovation Centres: one to open this year in Victoria and a second scheduled for 2020 in South Australia.
Jointly funded by Federal and Victorian Government industry development grants, the Automotive Innovation Centres will significantly reduce the time and cost in developing innovative new products for domestic and export markets.
The Melbourne Innovation Centre will focus on the development of new automotive aftermarket products by Australian advanced manufacturing businesses. This will be achieved by providing them with access to services including base OEM vehicle data and measurements, 3D scanning and printing, measuring sessions, technology transfer and rapid prototyping.
Leading-edge testing facilities will form a core element of the facility’s offering to the entire industry, along with the delivery of highly specialised training.
The South Australian facility will be a national centre of excellence for dynamic vehicle testing including brake and electronic stability control along with advanced driver assistance system testing, suspension development and load capacity validation.
“We strongly believe that they key to the success of our manufacturing sector is innovation and it is therefore vital that companies continue to invest in R&D, new products and capital equipment to keep ahead of the curve,” said Automotive Innovation Centre Manager, Luke Truskinger speaking at the launch.
“In addition, the rapid changes in vehicle technology mean that parts producers need to continually raise the bar in their testing and validation to ensure that their products fully integrate with todays’ highly computerised vehicles to ensure ongoing compliance with local and international design specifications,” he added.
Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association CEO Stuart Charity said: “Earlier this year we commissioned ACA Research to undertake a survey of our manufacturers to measure the health of the industry, and the preliminary findings are very telling of the exciting future potential of Australian automotive aftermarket manufacturing.
“78% of all Australian aftermarket manufacturers engage in export with our largest markets being the USA, Europe and the UK in that order. An incredible 82% of those surveyed expected export sales to be either a little higher or significantly higher over the next 3 years with only 3% projecting lower export sales,” he added.
“The two new Auto Innovation Centres will play a crucial role in the ongoing development of not just world class, but world leading automotive aftermarket products and components for the domestic market and for global export markets,” Charity concluded.