Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade Richard Dalla-Riva today officially opened a new $4.3 million Recreational Vehicle Technology Centre at Dandenong caravan manufacturer AL-KO Australia.
AL-KO is one of Australia's leading caravan and trailer manufacturers, with the Victorian recreational vehicle manufacturing sector responsible for more than 80 per cent of Australian production. The new centre will put AL-KO's innovative new Electronic Sway Control (ESC) technology into production and create 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," Mr Dalla-Riva said.
"It is an automotive sector worth around $3 billion in annual revenue and directly employs around 6000 people across 1100 enterprises.
"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.
ESC is a unique system designed by AL-KO to detect and correct unstable movement (sway), a significant factor in caravan and trailer accidents.
AL-KO aims to see the ESC product fitted to most new caravans and trailers produced domestically, as well as a large number retrofitted to second-hand caravans and trailers.
AL-KO also estimates that ESC products will generate $2.4 million in exports over five years, particularly in the US's new caravan market which is around ten times the size of the Australian market
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."