The Truck Industry Council (TIC) has says it applauds the support given to it by the Senate Economics Committee. The TIC represents Australia’s truck manufacturers and says it has received rousing cross-party support for its presence in Australia and strategic policy ideas during a Senate Economic References Committee hearing.
“It was a very constructive dialogue with senators Bushby, Carr, Ketter, Muir and Rice, where we felt that truck manufacturers were being recognised for the first time for their presence in Australian commerce,” said Tony McMullan, TIC CEO.
The TIC points out Australia has three truck manufacturers, Volvo Group Australia, Paccar and CNH Industrial. These three are designing, engineering, testing, developing, and manufacturing trucks, under the Kenworth, Volvo, Mack and Iveco brands, without Federal Government assistance.
“Truck manufacturing in Australia is a good news story,” said McMullan. “We have been manufacturing trucks here since the early 1950s and the total is now above 340,000 vehicles.
“In every case their local content by value exceeds their imported content. Last year 48 per cent of the heavy trucks (above 16.5 tonne GVM) were designed and manufactured in Australia with an average sale price in excess of $200,000. This strength is showing no signs of abating.”
Senators were advised, by the TIC, of an alternative policy option to ensure Australia continues to engage in advanced manufacturing.
“There is a strategic imperative for Australia to have a more modern, productive, safer, cleaner and greener truck fleet,” said McMullen. “Simply put, Australia has an old truck fleet, with an average age of 14.8 years. About 30 percent of vehicles, or 175,000 trucks, were manufactured before 1996 which means they pre-date any Australian exhaust emission laws or regulations.
“Today’s trucks are 60 times cleaner in exhaust emissions than one pre-1996 truck.”
According to the TIC, there is much to be gained from a program to modernise the Australian truck fleet through the provision of investment allowances, funded from a reprioritisation of the Fuel Tax Credit Rebate Scheme and tailored to emission levels.
The TIC estimates an additional 3,300 trucks could be manufactured in Australia every year for five years, a 66 per cent increase in local production providing a stimulus to Australia’s future automotive industry.