Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade Richard Dalla-Riva has officially opened a new $4.3 million Recreational Vehicle Technology Centre at Dandenong caravan manufacturer AL-KO Australia.
AL-KO, one of Australia’s leading caravan and trailer component manufacturers, will put a new innovative Electronic Sway Control (ESC) technology into production, creating 18 manufacturing jobs.
“This centre strengthens Victoria as Australia’s hub for recreational vehicle manufacturing, as home to more than 90 companies responsible for over 80 per cent of manufacturing in this sector. It is an automotive sector worth around $3 billion in annual revenue and directly employs around 6000 people across 1100 enterprises.” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
“We have a great culture of caravanning in Victoria and this ESC technology is not only an example of innovative manufacturing, but also something that will be welcomed as a safety measure by the thousands of grey nomad caravanners across Australia,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
Stability control systems were first introduced by Mercedes Benz and BMW in 1987, and are now a standard in all motor vehicles. ‘AL-KO ESC is a sophisticated electronic brake actuation system that automatically responds to the driving behaviour of the caravan by monitoring for any dangerous lateral movements and taking preventative action immediately,’ Alkoesc.
AL-KO estimates that ESC products will generate $2.4 million in exports over five years, particularly in the US, where the new caravan market is around ten times the size of the Australian market.
AL-KO aims to see the ESC product fitted to most new caravans and trailers produced domestically, as well as a large number of retrofitted to second-hand caravans and trailers.
Mr Dalla-Riva said the Victorian Coalition Government provided a $150,000 grant towards the new AL-KO Recreational Vehicle Technology Centre.
“We have also provided $45,000 to the Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Victoria to develop a detailed plan for growth of the local industry and Victorian manufacturers will also benefit from the recent budget announcement of $58 million for Victorian manufacturing companies, Mr Dalla-Riva said.”