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Metal Casting Technologies : Dec 2009
6 www.metals.rala.com.au BRIEFINGS Australian auto vision paper released - first phase of auto industry roadmap completed Australian Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, and the Victorian Industry and Trade Minister, Martin Pakula, have released a report outlining a strategic vision for the Australian automotive industry. The report was developed with key automotive industry stakeholders and marks the first phase of a comprehensive technology roadmap -- the Automotive Australia 2020 Project. The automotive technology roadmap is about identifying and mapping the industry's capabilities and needs to 2020 and beyond -- allowing the industry to play to its strengths and support innovative technologies with strong commercial potential. The Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology (AutoCRC) is managing the project, which is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments. The report identifies the trends, drivers, needs and capabilities of the Australian automotive industry and outlines the following vision: "Australia's automotive industry must achieve recognition as a strategic element of the global automotive industry to be attractive to global companies and their investors. Australia must have a sustainable, profitable vehicle manufacturing industry with global reach that maximises opportunities in local and international markets. The industry must be bigger, more productive, and provide more jobs in the manufacturing and supply sectors. This can be achieved through leveraging existing strengths and building new capabilities." The development of a roadmap has been endorsed by the Automotive Industry Innovation Council -- formed as part of the Rudd Government's $6.2 billion New Car Plan for a Greener Future to help drive continuous innovation in the auto industry. The roadmap will be developed in six phases: ● Phase 1 -- Establishing a vision ● Phase 2 -- Defining immediate domestic and long-term future global market need ● Phase 3 -- Understanding national capability ● Phase 4 -- Identifying key tactical and strategic opportunities ● Phase 5 -- Strategic opportunity roadmap development ● Phase 6 -- Prioritisation For a copy of the vision report and more information on Automotive Australia 2020, including opportunities to participate, visit www.autocrc.com/2020.htm The roadmap is expected to be completed by April 2010. Australia -- first electric car network The Chief Executive of Project Better Place, Shai Agassi has announced that Canberra will be the first city to deploy his electric car network in Australia, in the process issuing a challenge to the nation to embrace electric cars or become an "importer of kilometres". Better Place Australia, which has teamed up with AGL Energy to provide renewable power to its network, and with the Macquarie Group to arrange finance, is seeking $A25-30 million (£12.4-14.9 million) in its first round of funding. Total fundraising of around $A1 billion (£497 million) is expected before the network is rolled out in 2012. Better Place has previously announced plans to roll out its network in Israel, Denmark, and in select cities in Canada and the US, but Australia is by far the largest country in its plans so far. Agassi says Australia was chosen because "if we do this country, no one asks if we can do big", even if the country's vast expanse belies the fact its population is concentrated in six metropolitan centres linked by large arterial routes. Australia is also one of only a dozen or so countries that have a local car manufacturing industry, and although Agassi is coy about his intentions, it is widely assumed he is keen to get local manufacturers -- Ford and Holden, a unit of General Motors -- involved in his project. "In the next two to three years the future of the automobile industry, which is the heart of manufacturing, will be determined," Agassi said in an interview with BusinessGreen.com. "You can be the last in the queue or the first in the queue. That's the big question for Australia as well." He argued there was a strong long- term economic case for Australia to support the development of electric cars. "Today, Australia supplies part of its oil, but buys a lot of its oil from outside," he explained. "The kilometre (of the future) is not going to be based on oil, it will be based on lithium, on iron and on phosphate. Australia is rich in those resources. Do you want to export lithium, iron and phosphate and import kilometres, or do you want to make kilometres and export kilometres?" For Agassi the answer to that question is self evident. "If the car industry wants to find itself in a position where in 2013/14 it is still competitive, the biggest question is to look in the crystal ball and ask what is the car that is desirable by consumers in 2013/14," he continued. "That car needs to be built today, the program needs to start today." Agassi said he expects one billion electric cars to be on the roads across the globe by 2020. He is convinced the embryonic industry is on the brink of such a breakthrough because oil prices are expected to continue to rise, while battery prices and the cost of electric cars will continue to fall. He added that not only will consumers be able to buy kilometres at a cheaper rate than petrol-fuelled cars through his network, the vehicles themselves will be cheaper, more reliable and easy to recharge. Better Place will also offer mobile-phone style plans for the purchase of kilometres to make signing
Media Kit 2010