70 YEARS OF ENGINE BEARING MANUFACTURE IN AUSTRALIA
2019 marks the 70th year of manufacture of precision engine bearings in the Northern Suburbs of Launceston, Tasmania
ACL explains that at the beginning of the post war period, the Tasmanian Government was looking to transform the Tasmanian economy by encouraging the development of the manufacturing sector. Repco at the time was looking to expand its bearing manufacturing operations and decided on Tasmania as the location for growth.
The original plant was constructed in 1948 and officially opened on 11 April 1949. This was timely with the development of the Australian automotive industry and the company became a key supplier to all domestic OEMs.
As the industry grew, the company introduced a range of replacement bearings initially for the domestic aftermarket followed by supply to world markets. During this period the company acquired several small bearing manufacturers (including Automotive Components Ltd, otherwise known as ACL) to ultimately become the only engine bearing manufacturer in Australia.
The Launceston operation was sold by Repco in 1986 and the Automotive Components Limited group was formed and the ACL brand was reborn.
Current ACL General Manager, Chris Brooks, is now in his 43rd year with the business after starting as a Marketing Cadet in 1977.
“The company has seen its fair share of change, highs and lows over the seventy years, however it has always maintained great resilience and an exceptional name for quality across the world,” Chris said.
“We are fortunate to have a long serving and highly skilled workforce. The ACL brand sits comfortably on the world stage and has been exporting for over 55 years. We receive excellent support from our distributors and loyal customers.”
Today ACL says it produces one of the largest general aftermarket ranges in the world from its Launceston facilities through its Duraglide and Aluglide product as well as its “internationally lauded” ACL RACE Series Performance Engine Bearings range.
Following a change of ownership in 2014, the Launceston facility is part of a global network with ACL owned facilities in Mexico, Asia and the USA.
“The company of today carries a fine legacy from the over 8,500 employees that have worked for the company across the 70 years. We have a rich and proud history and are well placed to serve our customers well into the future,” Chris said.