Supporting Victoria’s automotive industry - Harrop Engineering
Opening title: How can the Victorian Government support my business?
Dialogue – Heath Moore - Heath Moore, General Manager, Harrop Engineering
So Len Harrop originally founded Harrop in1955. It was Len's son Ron who had a strong passion for motor sport, both drag racing and circuit racing, and was very successful at both, and had an involvement with some of the professional Holden racing teams. That's where the product range expanded significantly, but pinned upon that motor sport heritage that Ron initiated.
When we heard the announcement in 2014 with Holden, and then Toyota, and then Ford closing, obviously extremely disappointed for the industry. But we recognised that it was going to be a significant opportunity as well. Harrop had already begun diversifying both the capabilities with the products that we're designing and manufacturing, but also the services that we offer may not be automotive. It could be rail and rolling stock, like Yarra Trams, some defence, or even high-end hi-fi audio systems.
Title: Harrop has diversified into:
- Audio Systems
One of our key technology partnerships is Eaton Corporation, both for supercharges and traction product. And it's through that relationship that we supplied Toyota here locally with supercharger systems. So that has also opened doors with other customers recognising that we can create world-class products.
Title: World-class products
Employees were certainly nervous when they heard the news, and we've moved to reassure them and demonstrate that there's a strong business plan to expand our product portfolio and market that on a global basis.
We've been able to redeploy those skills into other Harrop-like product programs.
Title: Re-deploying skills
We've always found the Victorian Government to be very good at communicating when there's opportunities for support.
Super: Opportunities for support
As part of our business planning process, we identified opportunities that Harrop wouldn't have been able to fund solely, and it was really fantastic that the Victorian Government had a number of initiatives on a merits basis where they would co-fund programs based on a business case that was presented.
Title: Co-funded programs
So while we continue to work really hard at growing our business and developing our business plans, the support for the Victorian Government has been really key over many years, and I'm sure will continue to be a big part of our ability to remain relevant.
Certainly with the closure of the car manufacturers, it is the end of one chapter, but the next chapter I think is almost more exciting. Manufacturers within Australia must look at their core competencies, and look to exploit those with the global markets, and the Victorian Government's been instrumental in helping Harrop to achieve those objectives to succeed for the future.
Title: Find our more about the Victorian Government's support for the automotive industry
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Page last updated: 15 February 2017