WA's agricultural, mining, bulk handling and transport sectors will benefit from a decision by Bulkwest Engineering to purchase the assets of commercial transport company, Howard Porter Pty Ltd.
Bulkwest Engineering, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bulkwest Pty Ltd (a fully owned subsidiary of Co-operative Bulk Handling), last week purchased the Howard Porter brand and company name, all existing plant, equipment, stock and intellectual property, following the withdrawal of Howard Porter from the Western Australian market by its parent company.
Bulkwest general manager Dave Williams said the company was pleased to secure the purchase of Howard Porter assets.
"Its great to see a business established in 1936 returned to 100pc Western Australian ownership and control.
"Howard Porter is a well respected company which has focused on the commercial vehicle industry for the past 66 years," Mr Williams said.
"It has successfully specialised in bulk, general and specialised transport and off-highway service vehicles for the agriculture industry across the state.
"Bulkwest will make the most of Howard Porter's track record by additional investment in research and development in the design of innovative 21st century fit-for-purpose transport. This investment will result in a cost competitive product manufactured in a highly productive and efficient workshop."
Howard Porter experienced problems during the past three years, after Singaporean public company - Lindeteves-Jacoberg - bought it as part of its drive into the Australian market.
The Asian economic crisis and a downturn in the WA mining industry contributed to the parent company leaving the WA market and selling the assets of Howard Porter to Bulkwest Engineering.
"Howard Porter will voluntarily cease all operations in Western Australia in relation to road transport by no later than the 21st December 2001," Mr Williams said.
"The purchase of Howard Porter by Bulkwest Engineering will enable WA to re-gain control and ownership of this flagship WA company and restore it to its pre-eminent position in the commercial vehicle industry.
"Bulkwest are endeavouring to offer employment opportunities with Bulkwest Engineering to Howard Porter staff and will relocate the plant and equipment from O'Connor to a Bulkwest workshop at Spearwood."
Agriculturalists have already expressed their enthusiasm about the recent purchase of Howard Porter.
Wickepin farmer Brett Martin said the industry was already aware of the good reputation of Howard Porter and looked forward to increased and improved transport and storage facilities and services through Bulkwest and CBH.