GoAuto News, 19th February 2015:
AUSTRALIAN all-terrain vehicle manufacturer Tomcar has hired former Toyota Australia executive program manager John Bell as special projects manager. Mr Bell's arrival at the Victoria-based manufacturer comes as the company puts the finishing touches to its new TM5MR mining-spec model and prepares to double production at its South Oakleigh factory in Victoria to 200 vehicles a year.
A veteran of 20 years with Toyota Australia until he left in 2012, Mr Bell led major development projects including the Australian-built Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion. Tomcar Australia co-founder and CEO David Brim told GoAuto the appointment of Mr Bell was crucial to the growth of Tomcar and the maintenance of unrivaled customer service.
"The team at Tomcar Australia is very excited to have John on-board," he said. "He has decades worth of knowledge and insight into the auto industry, yet hasn' t been constrained in anyway by outdated or legacy thinking.
"He's a true innovator and we are already working on some amazing projects."
Tomcar is getting set to increase annual production from 100 to 200 from the middle of this year to meet burgeoning demand. Mr Brim said that since industry minister Ian Macfarlane launched Tomcar's diesel ATV last year, it had "gone amazing".
"People are loving the cars and everything is going really well," he said. "It's exciting. Now it's a matter of managing the growth and looking after our customers like we always have. We have delivered just over 130 and we have pre-orders up to 200, and we have to double production in July. John is going to be really helping with that as well."
With sustained interest in the brand, Tomcar stands to become Australia's number one car-maker when Ford, Holden and Toyota all shut up shop by 2017. Tomcar ATVs are offered in a choice of two-seater TM2, four-seater TM4 and TM5 Ute models with a choice of either petrol or diesel engine.
A new model aimed at the mining industry, the TM5MR, is in the latter stages of development. Three prototypes have been placed with "familiar name" mining companies for evaluation, and 20 expressions of interest have already been received. Mr Brim said it was not the product but the company philosophy that defined Tomcar.
"It's not about what we do, it is about why we do it," he said. "We're not just making another off-road vehicle because there are plenty of them. We want to change the way people drive and operate on their farms.
"Watch this space - there is a future for the Australia automotive industry after all and it looks like a Tomcar."
Tomcar Toyota to Tomcar: ATV manufacturer Tomcar has taken on former Toyota Australia engineer John Bell to oversee development of its TM5MR mining model.
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