Car parts supplier CMI entered administration yesterday putting 250 jobs at risk while a further 1,800 Ford workers have been stood down until next Wednesday.
The company also has plants in Horsham, Ballarat and Queensland.
CMI’s troubles began when the landlord at its Campbellfield plant locked workers out last week.
The landlord is claiming a range of debts with unpaid rent being one component.
Now administrators have been appointed from chartered accountants Grant Thornton while Ford Australia has appointed receivers from the corporate recovery firm McGrath Nicol.
Keith Crawford, partner at McGrath Nicol, told SmartCompany Ford appointed him as an administrator as the car maker held security in relation to CMI and was “interested in achieving continuity” in its supply chain.
“We are in the process of trying to find a way to get the standoff with the landlord at Campbellfield resolved and we do have a time slot booked for a Federal Court appearance this afternoon to put an application in to have that done,” says Crawford.
“Our objective will be if at all possible to stabilise the business at each of the sites and put it in a state that makes it attractive to a potential purchaser.”
Crawford says sale advertisements will run in this weekend’s newspapers.
The Australian Manufacturers Workers Union has warned the CMI administration and subsequent Ford lay offs could have flow-on effects to other component suppliers with thousands of workers affected.
The failure of CMI follows the collapse of parts supplier APV Automotive earlier this month.
“There may be some element of coincidence in the timing but it is generally accepted that manufacturing generally and automotive itself have done it pretty tough in recent times,” says Crawford.