Supercar misses a start
AN ambitious plan to give Australians a homegrown 21st century supercar has failed.
The single JOSS JT1 has been parked and will soon be auctioned as a piece of history.
The great-looking, midengined road rocket failed to win essential private and government support despite predictions it could have been a long-term export success with the potential to earn as much as $100 million for Australia.
‘‘It’s a sad day for JOSS. And, unfortunately, another bad-news story for Victoria,’’ the technical director of JOSS Developments, Matthew Thomas, said.
‘‘JOSS was founded in 1997 and has existed with practically no government support. Our sole purpose was to design and produce a global supercar contender that was to be Australia’s first homegrown supercar.’’
The Melbourne-based company was established with an engineering focus and progressed rapidly to a road-going prototype which was displayed at the Melbourne International Motor Show.
Development continued with more than 17,000 manhours devoted to the JT1 test car alone.
The prototype cost $400,000 and, after a failed pitch by the owners to the Fox Museum in Melbourne, will soon be sold, most likely through a Shannon’s auction. The plan for the car was to develop a direct link to major suppliers and there was early interest for a number of potential buyers.
‘‘The JOSS business strategy would have seen $25 million in vehicle exports within three years of investment and within seven years that would reach $100 million in genuine Australian exports. It was set to ramp up to employing a minimum of 20 automotive professionals with a supplier ripple effect of an additional 50 people, many of them high-end automotive experts.
‘‘We had good support with small investment but were unable to lock in the high network individual or company with the $10 million investment required.’’
The company battled with private investment and little government funding
Australia’s own supercar, the JOSS JT1, has been parked and the prototype will be auctioned off