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Thread: Aussie engineering firm Premcar goes global

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    Aussie engineering firm Premcar goes global

    http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mell...2580B50002B3E1


    By NEIL DOWLING
    AUSTRALIAN automotive engineering firm Premcar, previously known as Prodrive Automotive Technology Australia and for its role in developing cars for the Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) brand, has formed a partnership with global engineering company RLE International.

    While development on local vehicles has formed the bulk of Premcar’s workload in the past, the demise of Australian automotive manufacturing meant the engineering firm had to expand outside its usual scope, a moved helped by the alliance with RLE International.

    Premcar engineering director Bernie Quinn said the financial tie-up that saw RLE buy a minority stake in Premcar reflected synergies between the two companies.

    “RLE is very strong in body design, electrical engineering, program management, roadster competence and lightweight engineering, while we are strong in other areas including powertrain, performance development and chassis development,” he said.

    Premcar was responsible for the majority of the development work for the FPV F6, GT and the GT F, as well as the special-edition Ford Falcon Sprint six- and eight-cylinder models.

    “We did the Miami 5.0-litre V8 from top to bottom, including the supercharger, engine internals, exhaust and so on,” Mr Quinn said.

    “The FPV GT was a car that had tremendous engineering work done here and is a milestone for the achievements of Australian engineers.

    “It was done by us with a lot of unique parts and designs – among them, it had a unique engine (the supercharged Miami V8), powertrain control system, suspension, wheels, brakes and bodykit.”

    Partnering with RLE is a rebound for Premcar founders who watched in 2012 as its main income source of FPV disappeared.

    “If you had asked me in 2012 what I thought about Premcar’s future, I would say the business had a hard road ahead of it,” Mr Quinn said.

    “I would have given it, at best, 50:50 chance of surviving. We had a fantastic business. FPV produced some great vehicles and unique engines – the Miami V8 particularly – and components.

    “I would look at the turning point – the upward part of the graph – as 2015 when the currency shift was a trigger to sudden interest in our work.

    “We started to get more enquiries from around the world and we started to gain momentum.

    “Now, less than five years later, we can see that the loss of local manufacturing is not affecting us. We are flat out in product development and that is a growing industry in Australia.

    “The level of growth is crazy.”

    As GoAuto has reported, Premcar engineers have been involved in a variety of programs including significant chassis work on Geely vehicles such as the GC9 (Bo Rui) flagship large sedan.

    Other work for Chinese manufacturers has included tuning the suspension of the controversial Landwind X7, which was roundly criticised for its design mimicry of the Range Rover Evoque.

    RLE, which works with car-makers including BMW, Ford, McLaren and Aston Martin, is headquartered in Germany and has offices around the world, including the UK, China, the US, India and Spain.

    “It didn’t have representation in Australia and it recognised that Premcar had some skills and capabilities that were complementary to its existing capabilities,” Mr Quinn told GoAuto.

    “So, they contacted us and after six months, we formed a partnership.”

    Mr Quinn said it gives RLE a foothold into the Australian auto industry which, according to him, is expanding fast, while also giving Premcar a chance to work on the global stage to assist RLE’s customers.

    He said that for customers, the partnership means that Premcar can offer a 24-hour work cycle, with projects continuing uninterrupted on both sides of the globe to reduce development times.

    The partnership has also branched into labour recruiting and contract supply, according to Mr Quinn.

    “Australia is expanding its design and engineering responsibilities which gives more opportunities for us,” he said.

    “There is a strong demand for engineers in Australia and some, now work for Ford, GM Holden, Toyota and us.

    “So, we started a new business of labour leasing called RLE International Australia.

    “It’s a second business division for us that allows companies to source engineers for their projects. For example, we can place engineers inside companies to work under their supervision to deliver engineering programs.”

    Mr Quinn also praised the local engineering workforce at brand’s including Holden, Ford and Toyota and that the partnership with RLE would allow for interchangeability on a global level.

    “There’s a rich source in Australia,” he said. “Working with RLE means we can also source engineers from RLE’s 1800 staff around the world to work in Australia and vice versa, so we can supply engineers to or from any RLE office.

    “We have started discussions on exporting expertise into the UK to help RLE customers there.”

    Aside from the automotive sector, Premcar has also recently completed its first job for a customer in the aviation industry.

    “It is new ground for us,” he said. “We were approached by the company to apply auto product development disciplines to the aviation market.

    “The job took 18 months and the client was very happy with our work. We now expect a lot of work in the aviation field over the next five years.

    “The same processes and principles that we use in automotive, and now in aviation, can also be applied to marine and defence industries. It has led us to pick up some work with a defence supply company.”

    However, Mr Quinn remains strongly bonded to the performance-car market.

    “There are very strong chances of us working on more performance cars in the near future,” he said.

    “We have expertise here. It’s a part of the (auto) business that has small production volumes and that makes us think lean and agile.

    “We have become very efficient at making strong business cases and delivering engineering programs for small production volumes, sometimes less than 500 units.

    “The business case for performance cars is also very strong. These cars are loved by customers and they are prepared to pay a premium for the engineering quality.”

    Premcar comes from a solid line of automotive engineering companies in Australia, evolving from Tickford Vehicle Engineering that started in Australia in 1996, then to Prodrive Automotive Technology that began operations here in 2001.

    Premcar came out of a 2012 management buyout of Prodrive and picked up most of the core staff and executives.

    “These are exciting times for Premcar and RLE, we are projecting sales growth in the region of 200 per cent over the next three years in Australia,” Mr Quinn said.

    RLE International managing director Robert Rupa said his company was excited about the collaboration.

    “For RLE International, we now have a partner in Premcar and RLE International Australia that will complement our global presence,” he said.

    “It’s great news for us, our customers, and the industry.”
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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  3. #2
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    a good news story
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    Great news. Good to see Aussies on the world stage.

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    Great story. Aussie skills on the global stage. Makes you proud.
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    Businesses affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing in Victoria are identifying new opportunities and creating jobs, thanks to ongoing support from the Andrews Labor Government.

    Visiting workers at Premcar Pty Ltd in Campbellfield, Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan announced $891,000 in funding to provide 23 automotive supply chain companies with business support to plan for the future.

    Premcar has transformed itself from a supplier to Ford’s performance vehicle range to a truly global engineering consultancy with a presence in China, India and Europe.

    The company has doubled its workforce from 23 to 43 staff and created a partnership with RLE International Germany to provide a 24-hour work cycle to vehicle companies around the world.

    The latest round of funding from the Labor Government’s successful Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program (ASCTP) builds on the $618,000 already provided to 29 Victorian automotive supply chain companies.

    The ASCTP was established to help businesses identify future opportunities in new markets. Eligible supply chain companies can receive up to $71,000 to engage industry specialists and help develop a plan for transition.

    Funding is also available for business capability development activities – including assistance with management skills, sales and marketing strategies, financial management, new product development, business development and marketing opportunities.

    The Government’s $46.5 million Automotive Transition Plan is supporting new opportunities for Victorian automotive businesses and helping retrain and find new jobs for automotive workers.

    The Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) grants program has already created 450 jobs – more than 350 have been identified for ex-automotive industry workers.

    Automotive supply chain companies interested in applying for funding can visit www.business.vic.gov.au/asctp or call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

    Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan

    “Premcar is an outstanding example of a supply chain company transitioning into a global market and creating new jobs during what is a difficult time for the industry.”

    “We’re getting on with supporting businesses, workers and communities affected by the end of car manufacturing in Victoria.”

    Quote attributable to Member for Broadmeadows Frank McGuire

    “The Broadmeadows area has been hit hard by the closure of car manufacturing plants, and it’s great to see supply chains taking advantage of new business opportunities.”

    Supply chain companies that will receive assistance under (ASCTP) include:

    ACE Wire Works (Vic) P/L
    Australian Performance Vehicles P/L
    Australian Precision Technologies (APT) P/L
    Boge Elastmetall Australia
    Composite Metals Engineering P/L
    FMP Group (Australia) P/L
    GTS Industries P/L
    Guhring Industries P/L
    Heslop Contract Castors P/L
    ICOA Australia
    Mackay Consolidated Industries P/L
    Marget Engineering P/L
    MTM P/L
    Nexteer Automotive P/L
    OzPress P/L
    Palm Plastics
    Precision Plating P/L
    Premcar P/L
    Production Stamping Co. P/L
    Rian Industries P/L
    Roehlen Industries
    TI Automotive Australia
    Venture Campbellfield
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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