Su­per­car misses a start

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL GOVER

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

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