The move means that we will have greater capacity to increase production volume and allows Nulon improved scope to deliver innovative new products to the market, said Wayne Hoiles, managing director of Fuchs Australasia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mannheim, Germany-based Fuchs.
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Fuchs acquired Nulon, which specializes in engine oils and other products for the automotive aftermarket, in April last year for an undisclosed price. At the time, Nulon had trouble getting approval for development plans for an expanded facility at its Moorebank location in suburban Sydney.
Meanwhile, Fuchs had been investing serious money into expanding its Australian factories. It opened a new blending plant in Beresfield, north of Sydney, in late 2017. This replaced its nearby outdated Wickham facility and was designed to allow output to triple in the future to as much as 66,000 metric tons per year. Fuchs has also invested in expanding and upgrading its grease making plant in Sunshine, near Melbourne.
We are investing A$4 million [U.S. $2.7 million] to upgrade [the Beresfield and Sunshine facilities] to manufacture Nulon products and engine coolants with a greater level of automation, Hoiles said in a press release on the latest developments. The company added it was also investing more than A$1 million in new IT systems.
We will remain the only automotive fluids supplier who is manufacturing lubricants, additives, greases and engine coolants in Australia, added Hoiles.
Nulon makes as many as 150 products, which are sold through a variety of distributors, including retail chains of automotive supplies such as Repco and Supercheap Auto. Fuchs has retained the Nulon brand, which has an automotive retail focus compared to Fuchs Australasias traditional business in Australia of plying the industrial and mining bulk package markets. Revenue from Nulon products was about $40 million per year, Fuchs said at the time of the acquisition.
A Nulon source, who asked not to be identified, said his job was safe. It is planned to transition manufacturing from Moorebank to the other two manufacturing sites over 2020. There will still be a Sydney office.
Fuchs Australasia said at the time of its acquisition of Nulon that all 65 local jobs would be retained.
We are committed to manufacturing Nulon products in Australia and will continue to market Nulon as a separate iconic Australian brand, Hoiles said.