Market softening forcing manufacturers hands: Wright

By: Chris Smith


Manufacturers may face another round of redundancies in the face of the current economic slowdown, warns Brett Wright, CEO of

Manufacturers may face another round of redundancies in the face of the current economic slowdown, warns Brett Wright, CEO of the Commercial Vehicle Industry Association of Queensland (CVIAQ).

Speaking in the wake of Volvo Commercial Vehicles Australia’s decision to cut around 130 staff as it faces a downturn in demand, Wright says it is difficult to say if the worst is still to come for the transport industry.

"It is hard to say if we are over the worst, it is such a moving target," he says.

With truck sales booming, including record sales in the last two full calendar years, Wright says truck manufacturers spent this time building staffing levels to cope with demand.

He says this includes Kenworth, which ran two shifts to keep pace with customer orders, only to make close to 80 staff redundant when its forward orders fell away earlier this year.

"Everyone is in a bit of a holding pattern, you are asking if we are over the worst of it, my gut feeling is yes, we are facing a tough next year or two, but will it be one, two, or five?

"No one can say."

Wright says any manufacturer, whether they are truck, trailer or body builders, with a diverse product range and ‘good quality customers’ will be ‘better placed’ to ride out the current crisis.

"I think we will see more losses, or perhaps companies will not take new staff on in the short term."

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