The announcement by General Motors that it is axing the Holden brand entirely and closing down all of its operations in Australia by the end of 2021, has led to speculation that this marks the final nail in the coffin of manufacturing in South Australia, where Holden’s Elizabeth plant was the centre of the company’s production in this country.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for manufacturing in South Australia.
Basic Trailers is a shining example of a young, vibrant and innovative manufacturer that is meeting a growing demand for locally designed and built products.
Its trailers, which are designed, manufactured and distributed in Adelaide, have proven to be exceptionally popular with people across the state, in part as a backlash by customers against the cheaper but inferior imported trailers that have in recent years flooded the market.
Since opening its doors in 2018, Basic Trailers has expanded rapidly, to the extent that it has now had to move into larger premises in order to it to fulfil the demand for its innovative trailers, all of which are designed and built locally from Australian steel.
Furthermore, in addition to its existing workforce of six full time employees, the company will be taking on at least four more full time workers at its new and expanded workshop facility.
Sam Francis, General Manager of Basic Trailers, describes the move to new premises at Pooraka as a “significant expansion, and means we can continue to meet the demand of people across South Australia for our locally built trailers.
“We are now able to offer an even bigger selection of trailers and expand the range we have in stock at any one time, meaning that there is little or no waiting time for our customers who want to be able to buy a locally built trailer and tow it home the same day.”
Basic Trailers has invested heavily in CAD simulation software and CNC machinery that has enabled it to explore the limits of trailer design. This also means that it is able to produce customised trailers designed to its customers’ precise specifications.
This ability to build fully customised trailers is a feature that a local manufacturer like Basic Trailers is able to offer that importers can’t and has contributed significantly to its success.
Sam Francis added, “Lots of people want to talk down manufacturing in South Australia and say there is no industry here. Yet the rapidly growing demand we have experienced goes against this. Our customers constantly tell us that they value the fact that our trailers are designed and built in Adelaide, and they would always prefer to buy a locally manufactured product over an imported one.”
“Our having to move in order to accommodate demand tells me that there is definitely still a future for manufacturing in South Australia.”
Basic Trailers’ new workshop is located at 39-41 Langford Street, Pooraka SA 5095, between Main North Road and Bridge Road, in the heart of one of Adelaide’s busiest light industrial and manufacturing districts.