CANBERRA – Eight Australian automotive projects are awarded A$101 million ($76 million) under the Australian government’s Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme, which encourages new investment and innovation in the automotive industry.

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says the grants are part of the government’s overall A$4.2 billion ($3.2 billion) assistance package directed at high-end automotive research and development technologies.

“These local auto sector projects represent a significant injection of R&D into the Australian economy, with their full value totaling A$215 million ($161 million),” he says.” They further work on a range of new technologies from alternate fuels to engine efficiency.”

Funding primarily is focused on environmental projects such as fuel economy, emissions improvement, vehicle safety and intelligent systems.

The grants include:

  • Ford Motor Co. of Australia Ltd. – A$47 million ($35 million) for two projects: The new Ford Territory SUV powered by state-of-the-art alternative-fuel engine technology and the E8 Platform Expansion.
  • GM Holden Ltd. – A$48.3 million ($36.3 million) for four projects: hybrid powertrain development; fuel economy and alternate fuels; human machine interface development; and a global smart architecture and design process.
  • Toyota Motor Corp. Australia Ltd. – A$5.15 million ($3.9 million) for it SCON vehicle-development project.
  • Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd. – A$1.1 million ($827,000) for a powertrain-optimization project.

Domestic auto makers last April were awarded funding for five projects, worth A$41 million ($31 million).