Creating new opportunities for suppliers

08/08/2012

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Australian automotive suppliers will be able to build their capabilities, develop new products and access new markets under the $35 million Automotive New Markets Initiative launched today.

This joint initiative, between the Australian, Victorian and South Australian governments, will help the supply chain capture new opportunities in global automotive markets as well as in emerging high growth non-automotive industries.

Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, said: "This demonstrates the strong commitment of our three governments to securing the long-term sustainability of automotive manufacturing in Australia."

"The automotive industry faces challenges as a result of the high value of the Australian dollar and changes in consumer demand.

"The Automotive New Markets Initiative will help automotive component manufacturers to improve their competitiveness and break into the global supply chains which are an 0increasingly important feature of the car-making industry."

Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade, Richard Dalla-Riva, said: "This initiative will make the most of the world-class capabilities our automotive suppliers have by helping firms achieve the scale necessary to be successful in global supply chains."

"At a time of significant structural pressures on the car industry, local components suppliers must look to transform themselves into companies that can compete not only in selling parts into local production but also into global auto industry markets and into other sectors like defence, rail, aerospace and mining. We will stand by the industry during this period of transformation," he said.

The initiative will run over four years to 2015-16 and has three key elements.

The $30 million Automotive New Markets Program, co-funded by the Victorian Government, will provide financial assistance to automotive firms to diversify their business models by securing new customers and developing new products.

The Business Capability Support Program will fund a capability development organisation to assist automotive firms to develop new capabilities, improve productivity and build on their current strengths in new ways.

The final element of the initiative, the Automotive Envoys and Automotive Supplier Advocate, will promote the Australian automotive industry in global supply chains and in new emerging industries.

South Australian ActingMinister for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade, Jack Snelling, said: "The automotive industry is a strategically important part of the Australian economy in terms of the investment it creates and the jobs it generates.

"This initiative will support not only the 52,000 Australians directly employed in the industry but the 200,000 jobs across Australia that rely on it."

The Automotive New Markets Initiative is part of the Australian Government's $5.4 billion New Car Plan to support the automotive industry.

The Automotive New Markets Program and the Business Capability Support Program are open to applications from today. Applications must be submitted by 6 September 2012. Subject to demand, a second funding round may be announced in 2013.

More information, including Program Guidelines and application forms, are available from: www.innovation.gov.au/anmi.