TRUE BLUE

Putting local Aussie talent on the world stage

AUSTRALIA IS HOME TO SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE AFTERMARKET, AND THE PRODUCTS WE DEVELOP AND MANUFACTURE HERE ARE EXPORTED THE WORLD OVER.

STREET MACHINEíS TRUE BLUE SECTION CELEBRATES THE MEN AND WOMEN BEHIND THE PRODUCTS, AS WELL AS THE BUSINESSES AND PRODUCTS THEMSELVES THAT HAVE MADE AUSTRALIA THE INTERNATIONAL HOME OF HORSEPOWER. BUYING AUSTRALIAN SUPPORTS A THRIVING LOCAL INDUSTRY, AND KEEPS REAL PEOPLE IN REAL JOBS. HERE ARE A SELECTION OF BUSINESSES DEDICATED TO STAYING AUSTRALIAN MADE: This month we talk to Mark Bevan from HALTECH ENGINE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

What is your business name and what do you do?

My business is Haltech Engine Management Systems.

We design and manufacture engine management systems. We are the brand behind numerous record-breaking race cars, bikes, boats and offroad vehicles world-wide.

Describe how your business came about.

Steve Mitchell, with the backing of his father Bill, started Haltech, back in 1986.

Mid 1980s was an interesting time for the automotive industry with the advent of electronic fuel injection changing the way enthusiasts and racers built and tuned their cars.

Steve was approached by Modern Motor magazine to solve a fuel supply problem on a project car which led to the development of the worldís first real time PC-programmable engine management system.

How many years have you been in business?

This year Haltech celebrates its 30th anniversary. Haltechís first product, the F2, was launched in 1986.

How many people do you employee in Australia?

60 world-wide, 45 in Australia.

What would you say is your niche Ė what do you really specialise in?

While Haltech specialises in high-end ECUs targeted at the top level racing market, our range extends to cover all levels of motorsport and street applications.

What is your companyís best-selling product?

The Elite Series ECUs.

What are you currently developing?

We are currently developing a range of products specifically applicable to pro mod level drag racing. Iím talking big horsepower turbo and nitrous V8s. These high tech race cars require the latest technology, such as torque management, boost control, multi-stage nitrous as well as having up to 16 injectors.

Do you collaborate with other Australian businesses?

We collaborate with many Australian businesses. Our association with the USA-based Street Outlaws TV show has helped many Australianbased business get a foothold in the North American market.

What do you import from overseas?

Not a lot. There are some small components that we have to source from overseas simply because they are not available locally. All our ECUs are designed, manufactured and assembled in Australia. This helps us implement a strict testing and quality control procedure and react quickly to changing market demands.

How much do you export overseas?

About 75% of all our sales go to overseas markets. We sell to over 50 countries around the world.

How much of your work is for Australian clients/customers?

That would be the other 25%. Our Australian customers are always first to get all our new releases and, in most cases, all our testing and prerelease trials are done in Australia.

The Australian market is quite advanced so while our products are pushed to their limits, the feedback we receive from our local customers is invaluable and helps us to continually evolve and improve our products.

What achievement or product are you most proud of?

It would have to be the Elite Series ECUs. Without a doubt the most advanced systems we have developed to date. Eliteís success since its launch last year has surpassed our expectations and the demand has not slowed down since.

But while sales are an important part of any productís success, it is its performance on a race track that can ďmake it or break itĒ and thatís where Elite really proved its worth.

Within months of the launch, Elite ECUs found their way onto top-level race cars and the results started rolling in. 5-second passes, PBs, regional, national and international wins all proved the Elite was capable of delivering results in the toughest and the most competitive of racing environments.

By the end of its first year, Elite found its way onto six high profile race cars on the Discovery Channelís hit show Street Outlaws.

While we are proud of all our products, itís the achievements of Elite Series that really put the Haltech brand on the world map.

Further comments that you believe are of interest to our readers.

Haltech products are often associated with the Japanese performance market. While itís true that many of our market. While itís true that many of our products are designed specifically for that market, for a number of years our focus has been on providing the latest engine management technology to the Australian and American muscle car, drag and street machine market.

The success of Haltech-powered cars at the Street Machine Drag Challenge is a testimony to our products and our involvement with the event a further proof of Haltechís commitment to the Australian muscle car and street machine community.