Iveco has sold the majority of its historic site at Dandenong following the closure of its historic factory in June last year(2022), after seven decades of truck manufacturing and assembly on the site.
Iveco has sold 12.2 hectares of the site, which it purchased from International in the early 2000s when Iveco purchased and took over International’s operations . The sale price is reported to be around $95 million with Iveco said to be hanging on to a 1.7 hectare corner of the site where its so called Customisation and Innovation Centre will be sited in an area that is now largely car park for its head office staff. It seems the property sale includes its current office, which is understood to be heritage listed.
The $95 million sales is not the only major windfall that Iveco has benefited from in recent times having picked up a $500,000 grant from the Victorian Government aimed at encouraging more Victorian-based businesses to introduce and support zero emission vehicles.
The Dandenong site has been sold to the Aliro Group and ISPT and is set to be redeveloped into a large scale business park.
The shutdown of local Iveco truck production , which had long been rumoured, came after many industry pundits speculated that the Italian owned operation would struggle to remain viable, once it lost the production volume following the demise of the Australian developed and built versions of its Acco model.
In its statement at the time Iveco said that as part of its ‘global transformation process’, it would develop the Customisation and Innovation Centre (CIC).
The Dandenong manufacturing plant was opened in 1952 under the control of International Harvester manufacturing trucks and light utility vehicles for many years, when the IH brand was the market leader in trucks. Iveco purchased International’s Australian operation, including the Dandenong plant from the ailing American company in 1992.
As mentioned parts of the historic facility are heritage listed so how this is managed in the bigger scheme of things is yet to be explained.
The factory originally covered around 34000 square metres and produced more than 230,000 vehicles since 1952, and while it pumped out 2000 new trucks in its first year of operation, in recent times the volume dropped to well less than half that each year.
Iveco imports its heavy duty range from its Spanish advanced manufacturing facility in Madrid and it os currently gearing up for the launch of the S-Way which will be its flagship heavy duty truck.
Iveco already fully impored its light, medium and selected heavy duty trucks as well as its Daily based minibus and its off-road models to Australia.
The company said at the time of the decision that it would allow it ‘to more closely align model year introduction timings with that of its parent company in Europe’.
It cited as an example, the fact that it will now be launching the new S-WAY model in Australia according to the global launch plan.
The $500,000 grant Iveco secured was part of a broader Victorian Government initiative and the truck maker was one of only four recipients of a grant.
Iveco said at the time it would allocate the funds towards comparative research, an additional site preparation of the planned CIC in the lead up to its local zero emission vehicle launch, as well as up-skilling relevant employees to properly facilitate the product roll-out and subsequent support.
The company said that the grant funding would be used to develop a common space within the CIC facility, which will include unique tooling and safety infrastructure to allow the IVECO team to properly support and maintain the zero emission range prior to and following its launch.
The company also revealed that prototypes of its Daily Electric models would be due later this year (2023), with the company receiving its Daily Electric light commercial vehicles around the middle of the year for local testing an evaluation.