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Southern Highlands of NSW and electric vehicle manufacturing

20102020_EV Mossvale

Southern Highlands of NSW and electric vehicle manufacturing

Chairman of the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club (colloquially known as the Sydney Roosters), Nick Politis, has joined other transport investors in the proposed $700 million electric vehicle manufacturing hub planned for Moss Vale, 130 kilometres south-west of Sydney.

After a $50 million capital raising by TrueGreen, an entity controlled by Nexport Chief Executive Luke Todd, secured a 51 hectare site at an industrial estate at Moss Vale in the NSW Southern Highlands for the manufacturing operation as it aims to become a serious player in making electric buses and vehicles for the domestic market. TrueGreen is also the parent company of leading Australian bus manufacturer Gemilang Australia. Mr Todd believes the 7 star-rated, zero emissions car making facility is expected to create 2,000 jobs in the region over the medium-term.

Rarely do we hear stories of the rejuvenation of manufacturing in Australia, and even more rarely do we hear stories which could see those manufacturers becoming significant employers outside Australia’s capital cities.

Mr Politis has a 27 per cent equity interest in Australia’s largest car dealership group, Eagers Automotive (ASX: APE), which at the current $12.23 per share has a market capitalisation of $3.14 billion.  APE’s share price has quadrupled from the pandemic lows as people who cannot travel overseas are spending money on their motor vehicle. Their underlying operating profit before tax for the nine months to September 2020 jumped 45 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $97 million.

Other investors include Rod Casson, who built up a large motorcycle accessories business (including helmets, boots, gloves, and spare parts) with his brother John, which they sold in 2017 for $123 million to Motorcycle Holdings (ASX: MOT).

Nexport is the largest supplier of electric buses in Australia and uses electric vehicle technology developed by BYD (an acronym for “Build Your Dreams), one of China’s leading electric car makers. Berkshire Hathaway first acquired its shareholding in BYD in 2008, and they now have a 25 per cent shareholding in the US$50 billion company.

The COVID-19 pandemic had hastened TrueGreen and Nexport’s plans to shift focus to Australian manufacturing, and away from China. Nexport wanted to be part of a manufacturing renaissance, in line with the push by the Federal Government to ensure that an economic revival coming out of the pandemic was accelerated. NSW has begun the long process of the electricification of its fleet of 8,000 buses.

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Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery Investment Management, David has over 30 years of industry experience. David is a deeply knowledgeable and highly experienced financial services executive. Prior to joining Montgomery in 2012, David was CEO and Executive Director of Hunter Hall for 11 years, as well as a Director at JP Morgan in Sydney and London for eight years.

This post was contributed by a representative of Montgomery Investment Management Pty Limited (AFSL No. 354564). The principal purpose of this post is to provide factual information and not provide financial product advice. Additionally, the information provided is not intended to provide any recommendation or opinion about any financial product. Any commentary and statements of opinion however may contain general advice only that is prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Because of this, before acting on any of the information provided, you should always consider its appropriateness in light of your personal objectives, financial circumstances and needs and should consider seeking independent advice from a financial advisor if necessary before making any decisions. This post specifically excludes personal advice.

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