GippsAero job cuts complete

Beleaguered Latrobe Valley aero-manufacturing company GippsAero has confirmed the extent of job cuts at its operation, with 39 local redundancies administered through its restructuring plan.

In a statement made over the weekend, GippsAero chief executive Terry Miles said all remaining jobs at the operation were “secure”, subject to the “normal requirement of the business performing according to sales projections”.

GippsAero announced on 15 May it was seeking redundancies at the operation after 50 per cent of projected 2012 sales for its flagship product, the GA8 airvan, had been delayed or had fallen through due to volatile global market conditions and the high Australian dollar.

A market release for the company’s next production focus, the GA10, has been pushed back until 2014, while it is understood the search for a manufacturing location for the GA18 – which is currently under development at GippsAero – has been placed on hold.

“My focus is toward improving international sales performance, domestic sales and expanding the overall sales network into Brazil, China and (South East Asia) to capture our share of the available market and improving time to market for GA10,” Dr Miles said.

“Despite… significant losses over last few years the parent entity (India based Mahindra Aerospace) continues to invest in the company,” he said.

Dr Miles signalled a change in the company’s sale strategy, which would adapt to include retail financing partners, and the strengthening of the Mahindra Aerospace brand.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union metals division state organiser Ian Thomas told local media on Friday up to another 40 jobs could be cut in a second round of redundancies, and he feared the operation would move offshore.

However Dr Miles dismissed both suggestions as misinformation.