Victoria to be the base for locally manufactured ATV aimed at rural, mining, recreational and other industries
An automotive component maker in the Melbourne suburb of Oakleigh is about to embark on production of what is claimed to be Australia's first locally made All Terrain Vehicle.
Following an agreement signed by Tomcar Australia and component maker MTM Auto, preparation is under way to begin manufacture of the ATV in Oakleigh, with as many as 5,000 to be built over the next five years.
The Australian deal was announced on Thursday by Richard Dalla-Riva, the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade and is hailed as an historic agreement that will be a shot in the arm for Australian industry.
Based on a military ATV that has seen duty in various combat zones around the world, the Tomcar will be aimed at numerous civilian applications including farming, mining, tourism, search and rescue, police, recreational and national parks.
The All Terrain Vehicle's design originated three decades ago as a vehicle that could fit inside a large military helicopter. It was first commissioned by the Israeli defense forces as a compact go-anywhere vehicle. It has a whopping 380mm of ground clearance and uses a CVT transmission and is powered by both petrol and diesel engines.
Significantly, the Tomcar will boast almost 80 per cent Australian content, creating 50 direct jobs and 300 jobs downstream in the component supply industry. Tomcar also plans to export throughout the Pacific region.
Tomcar Australia co-founder, David Brim, said: "We are very excited to be setting up full manufacturing facilities in Melbourne. Tomcar will be the first vehicle of its type manufactured in Australia and will fill a growing demand for this specialist all-terrain vehicle.
"The Victorian government has been very helpful in helping us decide to set up in Victoria, and the local auto industry has an impressive base of local suppliers for us. We can almost source the entire vehicle here. MTM Auto are well-respected and have the expertise to produce a high-quality vehicle for us and the Australian consumer," added Brim.
Minister Richard Dalla-Riva had his say on the landmark production agreement: "This is a fantastic win for Victoria. The production of the Tomcar range of vehicles will give a much-needed boost to the local auto industry supplier network and create valuable local jobs. The auto industry is under pressure at the moment, and this is great news for the industry as a whole."
Australian Automotive Envoy, John Conomos, was also upbeat about the manufacturing partnership: "I've been in the automotive industry for over forty years and have never seen a vehicle like the Tomcar. This is going to change everything. It's very exciting for Victoria to have won Tomcar's manufacturing HQ."
Australian distribution of the Tomcar will begin with Townsville dealer Carney Toyota, with more dealers to be announced as demand increases.