> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Features FishingBoating MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Is Australian boat manufacturing car-eening for fall
Is Australian boat manufacturing car-eening for fall


'The government must support our world-class boat builders as it does the car industry.'    Maritimo Marine    Click Here to view large photo

How do you start a small business? These days, you buy a big Australian manufacturing firm and simply wait for a while …In recent weeks the car world has been floored by news that Ford plans to close its manufacturing plants while General Motors is aiming to cut workers’ wages to avoid or delay, an inevitable head-on crash.

Should the boating industry be concerned? Absolutely!

The car industry has consistently been a decade ahead of boat manufacturing in its R&D, construction, advertising and retailing. It enjoys a larger market, fewer local rivals, superior economies of scale and deeper pockets courtesy of their global parents.

They also have the undying support of a Labor Government that’s thrown millions of dollars at the problem, with Minister of Innovation and Industry Greg Combet insisting that the ability for local manufacturing to design and build a motor vehicle from the ground up is vital for the economy.

Well guess what? We have the ability to design and build boats from the keel up, to the pinnacle of international standards, but if history is any indication the government cares not one whit.

The prestige Australian built marques Riviera, Maritimo, Quintrex, Signature and Seawind, among others, have all struggled in recent years, slicing their workforces without raising so much as an eyebrow at federal level. We’re dispensable it seems.

So if an international conglomerate like Ford can’t build a family car in Australia, how the heck can we continue to build boats? The same market threats apply – a flood of imports built at a fraction of the labour cost, a dollar that for too long refused to be tempered, and nervous cattle. Perhaps the recent drop in the Australian dollar might help a little but it will have to keep falling to make any significant difference.

The Seawind solution was to shut shop and relocate.

‘Probably five years ago it was apparent that Australia had a limited future as a manufacturer,’ owner Richard Ward says. ‘We have a strong domestic market but we’re a long way from the world market – our boats are horrendously expensive to ship.’

Ward investigated options in China and Thailand but delayed a decision at his increasing peril. Then, in 2010, Seawind acquired Corsair Marine, which was building Farrier trimarans in Vietnam, and the die was cast.

‘It was sad, this process of closing our Wollongong factory, and unbelievably difficult,’ Ward adds. ‘People see that you’re selling out, that you don’t care about your workers … but it’s a short-sighted and mistaken way of looking at it.

‘Governments should be helping us to become a global company. That’s what we’ve done but entirely on our own. Seawind is 100 per cent Australian owned, we will continue doing all the design here, and the profits will come back to Australia. The alternative is to die.’

The Boating Industries Alliance Australia, the national peak body for the recreational and light commercial boating industry in Australia is working hard to explain the value of the Australian boat building industry to politicians, we hope they listen.

If not, the spectre of an Australian boat show without an Australian boat, once unthinkable looms as large as the prospect of a Bathurst race without a Falcon or Commodore.


by Mark Rothfield

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111087

7:59 PM Fri 21 Jun 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Newsletter Editorial Australia
Powerboat-World.com Editorial

Related News Stories:

24 Apr 2013  Sail Port Stephens - Splash of cash buoys Port economy
22 Apr 2013  Marine Insurer Pantaenius supports Sail Port Stephens
18 Apr 2013  Sail Port Stephens 2013 - An East Coast Low - How hard will it Blow?
16 Apr 2013  Sail Port Stephens Commodores Cup Day 2 - Gold Medal Dads
10 Apr 2013  Sail Port Stephens 2013 entries flooding in
08 Apr 2013  To drop and go
06 Apr 2013  Perfect Palma weather - Wish you were here?
31 Mar 2013  SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week draws from afar
25 Mar 2013  World Sailing Cup, 18 footers, AC and renos
25 Feb 2013  Of fire hoses, weather windows, 18 footers, Farr 40´s and Lord Howe
MORE STORIES ...






Power Boat News

Pontoon Boats are a hit with families and entertainers by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,










Glacier Bay returns to Australia, re-launching at SCIBS by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,








Singapore Yacht Show 2014. Boats to make your eyes pop. by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Singapore










Power to the people at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,


SCIBS VIP lounge back bigger and better in 2014 by Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show,




Singapore Yacht Show 2014. And another thing… by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Singapore
































Mondo Marine invests in Chinese shipyard
Aqualuma partners with ASMEX 2014 for Welcome function
Kaohsiung to welcome the world for 1st Taiwan International Boat Show *Feature
Changed boating conditions for ski race on Clarence River
Royal Victoria Cup - Cable, Hockney and Shipley victorious
Channel 7 stage returns to Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Hainan Rendezvous: suffering from a hangover?
Palm Beach International Boat Show shows healthy attendance
Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle Show - this weekend!
Coastal infrastructure and species loss - Climate Change consequences *Feature
rescueME PLB1 – safety assured in one compact, light package *Feature
Japan's Antarctic whaling program harpooned
All Marine Spares hits the boat show trail in a trailer *Feature
Royal Victoria Cup to take place this weekend
Rowers and ferry masters encouraged to share waterways safely
Go crazy about whales in a special family fun day at the museum
New generation trawler boats - tradition with a twist
Arvor releases new Sportsfish range
AIMEX focuses on commercial show in Asia
Further Australian growth for Stabicraft
Southport Yacht Club will host a free 'Discover Sailing Day'   
Melbourne Boat Show earlier this year - 12 to 16 June   
FinScan digital switching fitted to new rescue vessels   
Kids' Zone a drawcard at Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle Show   
Brisbane Tinnie & Tackle welcomes Engel as stage sponsor   
BIAV appoints new GM   
Trash to Treasure - A seafood story   
Amazing Whales – Evolution and survival opens tomorrow   
Maritime Alert - Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters   
PWC riders brave South Island waters raise $93,000 for melanoma fight   
Solar1 Monte Carlo Cup to take place this July   
12 weeks til Melbourne Boat Show   
First deadline for SCIBS exhibitors looms March 24   
Paul Burt, boating guru, is the face of Sanctuary Cove Boat Show   
Marine Industry loses a loyal servant: Vale Gunter Bruckner   
Positive pass mark for new venue   
Couran Cove signs lease deal with Hope Island Marina   
Phones outpace PCs and TV as preferred device   
UIM Awards Giving Gala - Stefano Casiraghi Memorial Trophy for RYA   
Grand Prix of Qatar - World champ claims victory on home waters   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS PBW