AUSTRALIA: Stadler Rail has established an Australian subsidiary to support its planned expansion into Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Stadler Australia has opened an office in Sydney, and intends to form a joint venture in Australia which would undertake final assembly using rolling stock components supplied from Europe by sea.

Stadler said this forms part of a ‘strategic repositioning’ of the company, which aims to enter new geographical markets and expand its portfolio to include metro and inter-city trainsets and main line locomotives.

Stadler previously focused on continental Europe, and was greatly impacted by the debt crisis in 2010 and currency shocks in 2012 and 2015. The company says half of its 6 000 employees are based in Switzerland, the export ratio is over 50% and consolidation takes place in Swiss francs, which have all contributed to a drop in turnover of between SFr200m and SFr300m.

‘Australia and the Asia-Pacific region present Stadler Rail with exceptional new business opportunities,’ said Peter Jenelten, head of Marketing & Sales, on November 17. Stadler has ‘noticed a growing demand for fast, modern and lightweight aluminium trains as well as trams and light rail vehicles in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region’, and as a result ‘made the strategic decision to bring its product portfolio to this market’.

‘The new Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement that the government wants to invest federal funds in the transport infrastructure for the first time ever is an important development’, Jenelten added. ‘These funds will be used to launch new rail transport projects across the entire continent. Add to this a number of projects that were already underway prior to this announcement. That is why, for Stadler Rail, this is the perfect time to enter the Australian market’.