Ex-General Motors engineers Mary Lorenzo and Oliver Spiess will help develop a new vehicle manufacturing industry in Gympie, at Performax International.
Ex-General Motors engineers Mary Lorenzo and Oliver Spiess will help develop a new vehicle manufacturing industry in Gympie, at Performax International. Contributed

Gympie firm defies car industry gloom

NEW factory systems and top line engineering will help Gympie become an important international vehicle production centre in the new year.

Two former General Motors Holden engineers with wide international experience have been head-hunted from the mainstream car industry to become part of a team to deliver not only a new vehicle to the market, but a new manufacturing facility in Gympie as well.

That is the prediction of Performax International general manager Glenn Soper, who said the firm would soon be introducing a right-hand drive version of Ford's big new super truck range.

Engineers Mary Lorenzo and Oliver Spiess would help the firm bring the Ford Super Duty F-250 and F-350 trucks to the Australian market, as Australian right-hand drive products, he said.

Mr Soper said the firm had recently won federal government approval for unlimited production of the vehicles.

He said Ms Lorenzo and Mr Spiess had already started on the mechanical and interior conversion designs that will be needed to build up to 300 right-hand drive versions of the big Ford pick-ups, from next year.

"The firm already manufactures 320 American cars and pick-ups in right-hand drive a year at its Gympie factory," he said.

The Ford will join the Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tundra and Dodge RAM pick-ups, which are already in limited-volume production at Performax.

Mr Soper said the firm was now placed not only to consolidate itself as the industry leader in Australia but also to seek new opportunities internationally.

Gympie Times


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