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Paccar Australia celebrates 50 years of manufacturing

Celebration marks 50-year anniversary of truckmaker’s local manufacturing

ATA images from the anniversary event

Industry and politicians have lined up to highlight the significance of Paccar Australia’s 50 years of manufacturing in Australia.

With the half-century anniversary celebrated today, Paccar is lauded for supporting local jobs, industry productivity, and the Australian economy with truck production at its Bayswater plant in Melbourne.

“Paccar built the Bayswater facility in 1971 to design, engineer and manufacture Kenworth trucks – a unique and high-quality product that has become an icon of Australian trucking” Paccar Australia managing director Andrew Hadjikakou says.

As part of the celebrations, federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg, assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar, assistant minister for freight transport Scott Buchholz, assistant minister to the deputy prime minister Kevin Hogan, ATA chair David Smith and ATA CEO Andrew McKellar toured the facility.

After the tour came a formal recognition of the role Paccar has played in the trucking industry for the past 50 years.

“During the past 50 years, Paccar has manufactured 70,000 trucks in this plant. We are extremely proud of this achievement and honoured that the Treasurer and his colleagues have joined us to show their support for our industry,” Hadjikakou says.

Our interview with Andrew Hadjikakou on how Paccar saw off the pandemic, here

The celebrations saw Frydenberg hand over the keys of the 70,000th Kenworth manufactured at the plant to Brown and Hurley, a multi-generational Australian-owned family dealership who celebrate 75 years in business this year.

“Brown and Hurley are a fourth-generation Australian family-owned business, which started in 1946 as a ‘fix-anything’ mechanical repair business and service station,” Hadjikakou says.

“They distribute and support Paccar products, and during their 75-year journey have grown the business to 11 locations providing 460 Australian jobs.”

Smith says that, in addition to supporting local jobs and communities, Paccar provides broader economic benefit by producing trucks that are designed locally for the unique conditions and demands of the Australian transport industry, moving freight in the safest and most productive way.

“Paccar directly employs more than 1,200 people in Australia, with many thousands more employed in its supply chain,” he adds.

“Sixty per cent of the parts required to manufacture a Kenworth truck are sourced locally, employing another 10,000 people.

“Australian manufactured Kenworth trucks represent 20 per cent of all heavy-duty trucks on our roads, and while manufacturing contributed $100 billion to Australia’s GDP in 2020, Paccar alone made up nearly 1 per cent of that total.

Hadjikakou says there are many exciting projects on the horizon for Paccar, including the completion of a $40 million factory expansion and a $15 million investment in 2021 for local research and development, software integration and engineering to produce new products in the Bayswater factory.

“These products will benefit our industry, community and broader economy through cleaner engines, higher levels of safety and comfort, reduced fuel usage and higher productivity,” Hadjikakou says.

“Our factory expansion is set to double our manufacturing capacity and will position the organisation for the next 50 years of manufacturing on this site.”

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