Analysis and Commentary

Carbon Revolution to manufacture in Mexico – media report

Analysis and Commentary

By Peter Roberts

As if it is not enough of a slap in the face for Australian technology companies the fact that carbon fibre wheel maker Carbon Revolution was bought by American investors for a song, the next step according to media reports is to manufacture in Mexico.

According to Automotive News, the company born out of research at Deakin University in Geelong and supported by Australian shareholders until Covid disrupted global automotive markets could open a factory in Mexico.

CEO Jake Dingle told Automotive News: “We’re getting ourselves prepared for a facility that will be in North America, quite possibly Mexico, that can service our North American customers and customers in other parts of the world.” .

Having supplied to makes including Jaguar Rover, General Motors and Ferrari from a factory in Geelong, mass market manufacture will now happen under essentially American ownership in Mexico?

Dingle even described the Geelong plant as a ‘pilot facility’ capable of producing 70,000 wheels a year.

Never mind that the plant is now highly automated, so Australia’s supposed labour costs are not the issue here – it is the old familiar one of us losing control of manufacturing assets to others who have no affection nor commitment to making things in Australia.

Dingle again: “One of the key decision criteria always has been that we must be able to automate and must be able to scale up. We avoid any aspect of manufacturing that would strain that scale-up.”

I could rave on about this ‘development’ for a very long time, but now Australian manufacturing is a factor that prevents scale up?

So Australia has lost a string of promising manufacturing companies such as electric vehicle charger maker Tritium to overseas locations in recent months – now we have another company significantly supported by the taxpayer and at one stage local investors set to flee?

We have a government in Canberra determined to make things here? Really?

Further reading:
Carbon Revolution lives on, cupboard bare for Australian investors
Brisbane’s Tritium to move production to US

Picture: Carbon Revolution

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