Expansion of 4WD capability comes to the outer east

Minister Natalie Hutchins getting a tour of the new Kilsyth facility. Pictures: SUPPLIED.

With the popularity of four wheel driving expanding across Victoria, local manufacturing has been given a boost to grow both jobs and innovation in the automotive sector with a new ARB hub in Kilsyth.

Jobs and Industry minister Natalie Hutchins visited ARB’s new $25 million global headquarters and Research and Development Engineering Centre in Kilsyth on Thursday 4 July, with the expansion made possible thanks to support from the Labor Government.

“We are very pleased to have engaged with the Victorian Government whose support and facilitation has assisted our expansion here in Melbourne,” ARB Chief Executive Officer Lachlan McCann said.

“ARB’s new Global Head Office and Research and Development Centre ensures ARB is set up to continue innovating, designing, engineering, and manufacturing premium 4×4 products here in Australia.”

The 5,100 square metre HQ and Research and Development Centre is adjacent to ARB’s new state-of-the-art showroom where the company continues to manufacture premium 4WD equipment including bull bars, air compressors, side rails, air lockers, battery trays and canopies.

Bringing ARB’s HQ, R&D centre, showroom and manufacturing facility together at Kilsyth is creating up to 70 new local jobs for Melbourne’s east.

ARB recently unveiled a major new product developed right here in Victoria. Part of its 4WD range, the Earth Camper is an all-terrain durable, off-road camper trailer and will be sold nationally and across the US, Europe, United Kingdom, UAE, Thailand and New Zealand.

Established in Melbourne in 1975, ARB has grown into a leading global company with an export network that extends across more than 100 countries. The Kilsyth hub is now home to 600 staff, including 85 engineers, with the company’s employee numbers growing to over 2,000 across Australia and internationally.

Four wheel driving is said to contribute in excess of $120 million to the state’s economy annually according to Four Wheel Drive Victoria, which boasts 94 registered clubs and over 23,000 members.

Victoria’s $33.5 billion manufacturing industry is a driving force of Victoria’s economy, made up of over 23,000 businesses, supporting more than 260,000 jobs, and exporting goods worth $23.9 billion.

“Victoria leads the nation in advanced manufacturing because our government backs our innovators to develop world-class products here, that are sold around the world” Ms Hutchins said.

Programs like the Manufacturing and Industry Sovereignty Fund, the Industry and R&D Infrastructure Fund and the Made in Victoria – Manufacturing Growth Program each aim to support local industry, grow jobs in the state and produce world-class materials.

“We’re investing in Victoria’s manufacturing industry to help local businesses like ARB innovate and expand as they are key to growing our economy and supporting local jobs,” Eastern Metropolitan Region MP Shaun Leane said.