Automotive component supplier Venture Industries Inc. of Fraser, Mich., plans to spend as much as A$165 million (US$124 million) to establish an Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. Venture has made a major financial commitment to the region because of its growth potential.
Larry Winget, Venture's founder and chairman, said the Asia-Pacific area will require 16 new auto assembly plants in the next 10 years, compared with one or two in North America.
Winget said those new plants will need support from component industries and design, development and engineering companies.
Venture bought the Melbourne plastics plant of Ford Motor Co. of Australia Ltd. earlier this year.
Steve Kelly, Venture's company secretary, said no decision had been made yet on the location of Venture's regional headquarters.
He said it is ``highly unlikely'' the headquarters will be at the 240,000-square-foot plastics plant, which was part of Ford's assembly complex at Campbellfield, north of Melbourne, because there is little room for expansion.
Sen. Peter Cook, Australia's federal industry minister, said Venture's regional headquarters will include an engineering center, and injection molding design and manufacturing. The plan will create 1,400 jobs, Cook said.
``It advances Australia's position as a regional hub for high-tech, leading-edge automotive design and manufacture,'' he said.
``Our automotive industry will benefit from Venture's investment through access to theworld's best-practice technologies and training. As well, the decision will mean a reduction in component imports of A$50 million [US$37.6 million], and new exports worth A$100 million [US$75.2 million] by 1999,'' he said.
The Australian government gave Venture regional headquarters tax incentives, including a sales tax exemption on computer equipment and deductions for relocation expenses.
Venture also has a controlling interest in Millard Design Group Pty. Ltd., an automotive design studio at Bayswater, east of Melbourne.