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Premcar ready for EV revolution
Experience with EV manufacturers positions Premcar well for future partnerships
25 Feb 2020
LOCAL automotive engineering and development firm Premcar may have made a name for itself in Australia with vehicles like the Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior and Fold Falcon GT Holy Grail, however its reach extends into international markets and alternative powertrains.
While Premcar is best known for chassis and combustion engine development, the company has also expanded its abilities to electric vehicles, working with start-ups across the world as another branch of its fast-growing business.
In an interview with GoAuto, Premcar engineering director and co-founder Bernie Quinn said the company has been involved in a variety of electric vehicle programs for car companies, despite its bread and butter still being internal combustion powertrains.
It has also worked on a range of vehicles for international markets that will not be destined for sale locally.
“There’s a whole bunch of start-up companies in California and China that we’ve supported as well, but that’s not the majority for us,” he said.
Premcar has been able spread its wings internationally with the help of German engineering giant RLE International, which purchased a 25 per cent stake in the Australian firm in 2017 and employs 2200 people across a variety of key markets including the UK, US, China, India and Spain.
RLE’s involvement has seen Premcar assist on a number of different engineering projects on emerging technologies.
“We’re supporting their projects as well, especially with the start-ups in California as well, you’ve got Rivian, Zoox, Saleen/JSAT, all these kind of companies have popped up, they all rely on the resources and capabilities of companies like us,” Mr Quinn said.
While Premcar’s core business is still a one-stop shop for vehicle enhancements like the Navara N-Trek Warrior, it still has a range of other projects it is working on across different areas.
With the Australian market’s move towards 4x4 pick-ups as a favourite vehicle, Premcar has followed suit, however its business still includes work on sportscars which helped cement its reputation in the early days.
“We still have a very keen interest in high-performance family cars as well so we’re not stopping there, we’re doing work on sportscars and all those things as well,” Mr Quinn said.
“We did a lot of support for a sportscar program for a small, almost start-up manufacturer in California.
“We’re doing some powertrain installation projects for a number of customers, we do powertrain calibration work still, we do chassis work for a lot of customers, we do a lot of less exciting stuff like benchmarking and tear-down with a view to giving our customers a cost save.”
When asked about how Premcar builds its business relationships, Mr Quinn said it was a mixture of approaching companies and being approached.
“That’s really my job – the majority of my time is looking at who might need us, and going out and trying to get them into our network and myself into their network,” he said.
“And stuff comes from everywhere – sometimes it’s a really long, slow burn, trying to get work off people and get the relationship going, sometimes it happens quickly.
“It happened pretty quickly with Nissan, actually.”
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