A Ballarat manufacturer has cut its dependence on the automotive industry by more than half and tripled its supply to overseas markets.
Metal fabricators Ceremat and local manufacturer Ozpress each received a $16,000 grant this week as part of the state government’s Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program.
The funding will help the companies develop a transition plan to identify new markets and limit their reliance on the country’s shrinking automotive industry.
“We’ve been in survival mode since the Global Financial Crisis,” general manager Michael Doolan said.
“(Before) it was probably 85, 90 per cent automotive and 70 per cent of that was Holden.”
Mr Doolan believes the work that the company has put it in over the last five years will make the Ceremat sustainable.
“With our diversification programs that we’re putting in, the effort that we’re putting in, we want to be here in 20 years time.”
The metal fabricators have increased their exports from between 5 and 8 per cent to over 20 per cent over four years.
“We’ve got a good skill base, we’ve traveled around the world and they don’t have the same skill sets particularly in tool making,” Mr Doolan said.
Technical and Commercial manager Steve Casey, who was previously at CMI Industrial, said the company was working towards self sufficiency.
“One of our aims is to be as self sufficient as possible so we’re not relying on other people falling over.
“I visit Sydney and Adelaide and they’re very mindful and nervous about what the closing of the (Holden) Elizabeth plant in is going to do to the economy.”
Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight said Ceramet was the “perfect example” of a manufacturer in transition.
“I really fight against this notion that it’s dying, I think it just diversifies and becomes a bit different and the government needs to support those changes to make sure that the jobs stay here and particularly in Victoria.”
Automotive supply chain companies can apply for assistance at www.business.vic.gov.au.
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