Australian Financial Review, 20/09/16

Geelong carbon fibre wheel maker Carbon Revolution is raising $50 million to expand production to 100,000 wheels a year by 2021.

The raising is the first stage of a two-part capital program that the company – which started in a Geelong garage a decade ago – expect will lead to a public float in late 2018. Melbourne stockbroker Evans and partners is advising them.

Carbon Revolution is the kind of modern manufacturer that policymakers hope can fill the gap after the closure of Ford, Holden and Toyota’s car assembly. Its home grown technology is finding a global market and its production is evolving from high tech to volume.

The company has won contracts to supply its world-leading lightweight carbon fibre wheels to Ford Motor Company for the $US450,000 ($600,000) Ford GT and $US63,000 Mustang Shelby GT350R sports cars.

The wheels have been on sale in the after market for luxury sports cars for five years but Chief Executive Jake Dingle said Ford’s imprimatur had intensified interest from other large carmakers and bigger orders are in the pipeline.

“We are in mass production and the demand has been terrific – it has actually increased,” Mr Dingle told The Australian Financial Review from New York.

Mr Dingle said the new capital – equal to about 28 per cent of the expanded capital – is needed to boost production at the company’s Waurn Ponds facility to about 100,000 wheels a year by financial year 2021.

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