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Friday, June 22, 2012

APV Participates in Off-Shore Technology Conference

APV Participates in American Chamber of Commerce trade delegation to the Off-Shore Technology Conference

In May, 2012 Mr Harry Hickling, Managing Director and owner of Australian Performance Vehicles visited the U.S.A. as part of the AmCham trade delegation to the Off-Shore Technology Conference. The trade conference represents the premier trade show for the latest technologies on offer across the Oil and Gas industry.

"With Mining, Oil and Gas representing the growth engine for Australian industry I saw this as a unique opportunity to be immersed within this rapidly growing industry and to not only promote the products and services of APV but to also look for innovative ways that we can diversify and support the industry." said Mr Hickling.

Whilst visiting the Technology Conference the American Chamber of Commerce organized a once in a life time opportunity to Houston Mission Control and Training Facilities. "Without a doubt the opportunity to visit Mission Control and to have a guided tour through the Space Shuttle, Sky Lab and other training facilities will always remain a highlight of the visit for me. There is so much history here, and it is a real testimony to human endeavour and achievement."

"The Managing Director of APV, Mr Harry Hickling visits NASA Mission Control and Space Station Training Centre."

"It also provided an opportunity to meet with many of our clients across the. U.S. and explore opportunities to grow our business within the Market Place. I'm really excited about the opportunity ahead for APV Safety Products and during the visit we discussed several imminent opportunities across the Defense, Coach and Industrial market places."

"Navistar MRAP Vehicle contains APV Military Harnesses"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Autoliv crash test centre saved

Aussie parts company APV steps in to buy Autoliv’s crash test facility in Victoria

ONE of only two independent automotive crash test centres in Australia has been saved by local car parts and accessories manufacturer Australian Performance Vehicles (APV) in a $10 million investment.

The Autoliv Crash Test Facility – put on the market by multinational airbag and seatbelt company Autoliv when it wound back its Australian operations recently – will not only continue to provide crash test and safety engineering services to the motor industry and other sectors, such as aero suppliers, but also help APV develop new products for the aftermarket. 

The sale of the facility in Campbellfield, near Ford Australia’s assembly plant on Melbourne’s northern fringe, saves the jobs of 12 engineers and technicians and has created at least three more staff positions.

APV, based in nearby Coburg but with another production facility in Queensland, also takes over Autoliv’s aftermarket division, Klippan Safety Products, saving a further 50 jobs of workers in a company that develops and makes safety gear such as aftermarket seat belts – for bus and forklift manufacturers, for example – and safety harnesses for other industries.

The only other independent vehicle crash testing facility is Sydney’s Crashlab, which does the bulk of Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) tests, among others.

Autoliv Australia, which employed more than 1000 people across its various manufacturing and engineering divisions at its peak about six years ago, moved its original equipment seatbelt manufacturing operation offshore to Thailand late last year and then scaled back its local engineering operation, leaving a staff of only about 12 to liaise with local car manufacturers.

The crash test centre is best known for conducting side-impact crash tests for the ANCAP while also providing crash services to Ford Australia for its local vehicle development programs, including for vehicles such as the Ranger ute. As well, it has also crash- tested the Australian-made Bushmaster military vehicle, and even tests light- plane seats.

Autoliv Australia’s general manager of engineering and marketing, Andrew Baldacchino, has been recruited by APV to head up the former Autoliv crash test facility, renamed APV Engineering and Testing Services. APV managing director Harry Hickling told GoAuto that the marriage of the two operations would provide synergies to allow the joint company to grow its business in both Australia and export markets.

He said the combined operation had a turnover of about $45 million a year, covering sales to the three Australian motor manufacturers with items such as fuel fillers and suspension parts, aftermarket accessories such as bullbars and trade vehicle fitouts, as well as the safety engineering business.

Mr Hickling said the new-look APV had been restructured into four divisions – APV Automotive Components, APV Safety Products, APV Engineering and Testing Services and APV Vehicle Solutions. He said the product development side of APV would be consolidated with the safety engineering division. “The personnel of both APV and Autoliv are genuinely excited with the prospect of strengthening the company and APV’s Melbourne-based activities being based at Campbellfield,” he said. “For both organisations, there is a real sense of optimism amongst the staff as they can see a strong future in a combined business.” Mr Hickling said APV would develop a shared corporate services organisation with upgraded IT systems and infrastructure.

He said one of the main focuses of Klippan under APV would be to drive greater business in exports, especially the United States. “About a third of its revenue is already generated in the US, the UK and Europe, and we are going to put in a lot of effort in the next 12 months to grow the US market place,” he said. “We have access to the Autoliv seatbelt technology and products, so we have a competitive advantage in the market place. “We also have some IP agreements with some other suppliers which gives us some unique capability with industrial seatbelts.”

Mr Hickling said the safety engineering division would not only take over the task of testing APV’s own products – previously done in-house at APV- but would also look to expand further into other industrial testing. “The test centre is basically going to become the centre of our product development and well as providing a range of industrial testing services to industry, from environmental testing, salt spray testing, destructive testing, calibration services etc,” he said. “So we are centralising all our engineering within the test lab, and the test centre is going to become a much broader supplier of those services across industry.

“It actually has quite a good diversified base already, and that is what we intend to grow.”

See the full Go Auto article

Author Ron Hammerton,  reprint from Go Auto article.