New Automotive Innovation Centres to bring local parts to market sooner

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

AIC demo AIC demo

Victoria will be the first to see the new research centre, opening before 2020

The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) is set to open two new vehicle analysis centres to aid and accelerate the development and ultimately reduce the costs of aftermarket parts and components.

Victoria will be the first to see the opening of the new Automotive Innovation Centre (AIC), set to open in later this month while South Australian operations begin in 2020.

Funding is shared by federal and state governments; which will see the new research and development facilities filled to the gills with state of the art data capture equipment and 3D printing hardware, as well as facilities for staff training with a full suite of equipment and tools.


Initially, the AIC will be focused on gathering data and 3D scanning new vehicles on the Australian market that are proving popular with modifiers and aftermarket suppliers: with the data-scanning demonstrated on a full-size RAM 2500 pickup truck. Expect to see top-selling Hilux, Ranger and Tritons recorded in the near future.


Current market trends are pointing heavily towards accessories regarding dual-cab utes and off-road wagons; with AIC Manager Luke Truskinger stating "two thirds of our industry are focused on accessorising four-wheel-drive and SUV and camping".

Ultimately, the AIC vehicle data will be able to be passed on to various local aftermarket companies which can use that 3D-scanned data to model, prototype and produce parts far quicker than before.


"These are the things and the tools and the equipment that we are going to provide access to for our members, as well as access to the cars themselves, they are welcome to come to the centre and utilise the vehicles for testing".  

"Our primary function is to assist the Australian automotive aftermarket companies to compete in Australia and internationally".

While new-car market trends will dictate the selection of cars initially; we at Unique Cars certainly see scope and possibility for local firms within the classic car industry to jump on board with the AIC. With new production methods like 3D printing increasingly being applied to the support and maintenance of old vehicles – the new state of the art facility holds the possibility as a great asset for local firms producing various components such as replacement panels and reproduction pieces.


The Melbourne AIC will be located south east of the city near Monash University; and will employ four people full time, with further space for engineering and development teams for parts-makers to set up shop.

The South Australian location is yet to be finalised, but AAAA Chief Executive Stuart Charity envisions the SA Branch to be a "national centre of excellence for dynamic testing"; with a focus on brake, stability control, towing and advanced driver assist testing.

Charity closes by saying "we’ll be providing test facilities and state-of-the-art equipment to help take product development to the next level".


"We also want to reduce the cost and time of that product development process because that is vital for international competitiveness".

We’ll be popping in for a look at the new Melbourne facility before the year’s end. Stay tuned for our inside look!


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