This is Australia’s new new-car industry

Premcar Spearheading Australian Manufacturing

This is Australia’s new new-car industry

We’re quietly powering on.

Australia’s car industry ended in 2017. That’s many people’s understanding after Ford, GM-Holden and Toyota assembled their last new cars in Victoria and South Australia.

Like all icebergs, much of Australia’s car industry lay hidden under the surface at that time. A vast network of supply-chain companies fed these big automakers with parts, materials and tooling.

Many of them either continued, found new customers or adapted to the changes after 2017. Some didn’t make it. Some flourished.

Premcar was one of these companies. And thanks to careful planning and hard work – and not a few sleepless nights – it made the ‘flourished’ column.

In 2012, I was part of a management buyout of what was then known as Prodrive Automotive Technologies Australia, which is today known as Premcar.

In those days, Prodrive was 51 percent of the joint venture behind Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) in Australia. We were flat out taking great new cars and turning them into special versions for excited Australian customers.

It was a great formula. From 1996, it produced some 200,000 new cars and 55,000 engines. They are still revered by passionate owners and enthusiasts today. It was a great business.

Should Australia still pursue manufacturing?

My answer is Yes. I shared why in this post some weeks ago.

The Prime Minister’s recently announced vision of a Future Made in Australia might have stirred up some criticism but his core message is correct: we should get back to making our own stuff.

Is it easier than importing it? No.

Is it slow to develop a manufacturing sector? Yep.

Does it take a lot of coordinated effort and expense to compete in manufacturing? It sure does.

But keep this in mind: It’s often the more difficult options that create greater advantages.

The person disciplined enough to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly will usually reap more from life than the person who doesn’t.

You can parallel this with the advanced economies that have cultivated strong manufacturing sectors.

That’s my view.

In the meantime, while Australia’s manufacturing future is debated, a number of local automotive companies have been creating and growing opportunities with major carmakers.

With Premcar, we’ve continued our successful formula of creating local-market versions of popular new cars that meet Australian consumer tastes.

It’s worked since the mid-‘90s and it’s still successful today.

Premcar Builds Car 10000
Premcar has secondary-manufactured 10,000 new cars since opening its Epping (VIC) production centre

Re-engineering, developing and secondary-manufacturing niche new-car models creates a lot of appeal – and sales – with local new-car buyers.

Critically, it puts to work Australia’s car-making skills but without the vast investment needed by OEM carmakers for local primary manufacturing facilities.

It works. We just clocked over 10,000 new cars from our secondary manufacturing facility in Epping, just outside Melbourne. It didn’t take that long.

And we’re flat out.

Everyone wins

Australia retains, grows and profits from its long-standing car-making knowledge.

Australia’s official new-car importers can access more local customers.

And many Australian consumers get the cars they really want.

Everyone wins. As I said, the model works.

Premcar is now 15 times larger since that management buyout 12 years ago. And we now engineer and develop new cars for major global automakers around the world, not just for Australia.

You could say this is Australia’s new new-car manufacturing industry.


Bernie Quinn – Engineering Director, Premcar Pty Ltd


About Premcar:

Premcar Pty Ltd is a leading Australian vehicle engineering business that specialises in the automotive, defence and aerospace industries. For more than 25 years, global car-makers have made Premcar their go-to partner for the complete design, engineering and manufacture of niche-model new cars, full-scale new-vehicle development programs, and electric vehicle (EV) conversions and manufacturing. Premcar’s body of work is extensive. It is the name behind more than 200,000 new cars and 55,000 new-vehicle engines. The company has delivered technical advancements and sales success for major car brands from Europe, the USA, Japan, China and Australia. Visit

Follow Premcar on Instagram – @premcaraustralia

Follow Premcar on LinkedIn – @Premcar Pty Ltd

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