OKA Factory Update

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02 Nov 2012 20:30 #1 by dandjcr
dandjcr created the topic: OKA Factory Update
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OKA NT Sales
Member
Posts: 46
It is with sad news to report that Angelika and Allan have been made redundent, Angelika after 16 years service and Allan after 10 years loyal service. Their final day is 10th February. This is disappointing and they are walking out with no payouts, bonuses, etc, due to the company having less than 15 employees.

Andy and I still remain, but for how long no one knows. We have been instructed to start boxing up the offices, as everything may be shipped to Malaysia to begin manufacturing there when a suitable investor comes on board.

So 4 potential loyal staff are available to begin at your business soon (can supply own tools and parts - hehehe)

Again another manufacturer lost from Australia to offshore.

Allan is still available to be contacted for any OKA knowledge on his mobile 0400736117.
February 3, 2012 at 11:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Peter & Sandra James Oka 374
Member
Posts: 413
So quite possibly the end of the line for Oka?
--
Oka 374 LT Van

February 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Paul Scherek
Member
Posts: 136
That is absolutely bloody awful news. It seems this whole country is going to hell in a hand cart. Already our prime agricultural land and our mineral resources are being snapped up by overseas buyers, and can you believe that in the driest continent on earth, we even sell our water to overseas buyers?
I know this is not the forum for political comments, but I find this distressing news is just about the last straw. Marcus, I hope you have something good coming up in the way of employment. And as for no payouts for 16 and 10 years of service because there are less than 15 employees..........
February 3, 2012 at 2:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

OKA NT Sales
Member
Posts: 46
Apparently they are looking at manufacturing the OKA in Malaysia. If and when and if we will see any new OKAs delivered in Australia, who knows. We are being kept in the dark here quite a bit.
February 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Hal Harvey
Site Owner
Posts: 510
I second the 'absolutely bloody awful news'. Even if manufacturing happens in Malaysia, it's hard to imagine that it will ever be an 'OKA' again; but the greater loss is that of an Australian-based manufacturer. I look at the federal government handouts that go to Holden and Ford and cringe at the fistfuls of taxpayer dollars that go there at times - but if they didn't, and that manufacturing was lost, it would likely be lost forever. Unfortunately 'small' businesses never get the same attention, have to live with that, but the loss is just as real.
--
Hal

February 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dandj
Member
Posts: 367
Whilst this is indeed very disturbing, but not totally surprising news, especially for those involved who's fault it is not, let's not forget that the Oka is and was a superb machine for its time and still has no rival.
I would like to applaud all those who fought for so long to design, build and support the Oka that we all have this sometimes annoying affection for. It's not the end for MY oka, but it is yet another loss to our entrepreneurial manufacturing base.
--
David and Janet Ribbans, Oka 148

February 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

joseph baz
Member
Posts: 332
It can't be called OKA if is manufactured outside Australia,It's a shame that come to this,for my part I never experienced a better customer service than the service provided by the base people at OKA...Angelika,Allan,Markus and Andy......a big THANKS!!!
Cheers,Joe
February 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

OKA NT 01
Member
Posts: 10
Marcus, how official is this?
Is this the final word or will we get the official “out” from OKA?
If OKA really shuts down for us this means the end of our trip around the world too.
Without the support from OKA we have no chance to find out what parts have been used and where we can get them ….. especially with our NT 01 being a pre-production model and not a standard NT in too many spots…. even though Arthur denied it for a long time …..
In Australia thanks to the support of Paul Nott and Robin Wade our OKA can still have a long life but we don’t really fancy the idea of shipping the OKA to South America without support from OKA. It was bad enough in Africa WITH the support from OKA …...
There is a hell of a difference between having a OKA for trips around Australia and then being able to return to a “home base” to fix all the problems or if one lives in it every day.
Sad sad news, hope they are wrong and the OKA will have a well-deserved survival ….. hopefully in Oz …..
February 3, 2012 at 9:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

joseph baz
Member
Posts: 332
Hi Susie & Ruedy,don't think that you need to cancel the trip,except for the BAE axels the rest of the gear is ready available,there is an spare NV 4500 gearbox at the factory and a new clutch kit (DODGE application) ,I also have a NV4500 at the workshop if you get into trouble,also available from US and Brazil,Cummins will look after the engine,you should be able to enjoy the journey!!
Cheers,Joe
February 3, 2012 at 9:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

OKA NT 01
Member
Posts: 10
Hi All,
Joe, thanks for your mental support. The situation is not that easy if you have a closer look at it. Cummins and New Venture are the easy ones. There are many OEM parts we require to keep an OKA NT alive. A good example are brake pads: We knew the brand and had the numbers printed on the pads, but we were still unable to get them anywhere in Africa. The OKA LT/XT owners are already well organised and I’m pretty sure they survive easily without the expensive spare part support from OKA but the NT users are in a different situation.
The main thing for us is not to panic.
The next steps as we see it (specially for all the NT users) are the following:
1. Wait for an official confirmation from OKA that they really close down the company and as well the spare parts support.
2. Find out if somebody else takes over the OKA parts support (there are some rumours around).
3. If not we have to convince OKA to hand out an third party OEM parts list for the NT’s (why not also the XT/LT’s).
4. If this fails we could use this forum (and hopefully the help of people like Paul Nott) to build such a list ourselves.
Susi & I already have a list of vital parts of which we definitely need to know where they come from before we head over to South America.
Hakuna Matata (as they say in Africa).
Susi & Ruedi
--
February 3, 2012 at 11:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

OKA NT Sales
Member
Posts: 46
Hi Rudi & Susi,

As of yesterday half the office was packed up. Andy and I are going into Linden's old office and Arthur's office remaining for Sunita Nair (director) till further notice. We were told another company is leasing the remaining office space and rear shed and hardstand space. Factory is being used for storage by Oka till the time comes to ship everything to Malaysia which may be a month away or longer. We just don't know any more which is frustrating. The director has instructed Angelika to shut down the Reynolds computer system when she leaves on the 10th. This system has all the information for stock holding, pricing, administration, etc.

I will keep everyone updated as I find out more.
February 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Peter_n_Margaret
Member
Posts: 198
Any company who manufacturs or retails a product in Australia have ongoing LEGAL obligations in regard to the supply of spare parts.
If they ever contemplate doing business in Australia in the future, they should be aware of and pay heed to those obligations.
--
Cheers Peter, OKA196 Motorhome. www.oka4wd.com/xt196.htm



February 4, 2012 at 7:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

joseph baz
Member
Posts: 332
That is very true,it will only apply to the NT as from memory the limitations only apply for 7 years,the other problem is how will you enforce it....dpt of fair trading are not exactly fast or efficient and if you are planning to spend your hard earn dollars in a legal challenge you may as well buy a new 4WD,it would be nice if the government can enforce it,considering OKA had R&D tax concessions from our tax dollars and now other country is going to benefit,don't get me wrong it's not sour grapes is that we are seen this happening too often...banks....telcos....clothing man....ooooppps got a bit carried away but this really p@#$s me off
Cheers,Joe
February 4, 2012 at 7:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tony
Member
Posts: 11
joseph baz at February 4, 2012 at 7:53 PM
That is very true,it will only apply to the NT as from memory the limitations only apply for 7 years,the other problem is how will you enforce it....dpt of fair trading are not exactly fast or efficient and if you are planning to spend your hard earn dollars in a legal challenge you may as well buy a new 4WD,it would be nice if the government can enforce it,considering OKA had R&D tax concessions from our tax dollars and now other country is going to benefit,don't get me wrong it's not sour grapes is that we are seen this happening too often...banks....telcos....clothing man....ooooppps got a bit carried away but this really p@#$s me off
Cheers,Joe
What a disgusting affair, this should never have happened. Why has this happened?, well as a person who has studied the reasons why oz Governments past and present have created a scenario for the destruction of Australias manufacuring, land ownership, independance, finances etc I can only say that all this is being done on purpose (see The Lima Declaration, the United Nations Agenda21 etc etc.
February 5, 2012 at 7:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Peter_n_Margaret
Member
Posts: 198
Why did it happen.
Well the scuttlebutt says some key employees ripped the owner off.
That can only happen if the place is not monitored and managed effectively by the owner.
What also worries me is what has happened to the prospective NT customers that had orders in the system. The company has a pathetic record in terms of what they promise and what they deliver. What they did to Susi & Ruedi does not bear discussion.
XT and LT owners have been one of the company's best assets in terms of new sales, but these people have never been treated with respect, in my opinion.
--
Cheers Peter, OKA196 Motorhome. www.oka4wd.com/xt196.htm



February 5, 2012 at 5:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dave and Pauline Gray
Member
Posts: 84
Good day All
Not good news but as I understand it this situation was brought to a head by the non payment of wages to people on the NT assembly line who withdrew their labour until wages were brought up to date . Have these people been paid? If not the government should step in and stop the transfer of any assets until all debts are settled and that includes the people who have paid deposits on NTs that aren't going to be delivered .
Cheers Dave
February 5, 2012 at 7:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

OKA NT 01
Member
Posts: 10
Hi All,
Why did that happen?
We were the first NT client. We signed our contract in December 2003. The truck should have been delivered September 2004 to Europe but was instead finally handed over to us in August 2006 at OKA in Bibra Lake. During 2006 we worked about 4 month in the factory to complete the camper. During this time we saw and heard a lot and much more than a client should ever see and hear. There is a lot we are not supposed to talk about.
During our 2011 journey through Africa we had a few meetings with the responsible people at BAe in South Africa and were able to discuss all the issues around the axles in a very open manner. BAe gave us an incredible support last year. The axles were designed by BAe/Vickers and produced (an OKA decision) by Madara in Bulgaria. Madara delivered only poor shit quality.
Below is how we see it. It is our personal view:
The main problem of the OKA company was their investor and the way he handled OKA. Even though he is a member of one of the most influential and richest families in Malaysia he always gave OKA too little money to survive and too much to die. This resulted in endless delays during the development process and also during the time OKA should have started production.
The delays were finally also the reason for the axle debacle which could have ended very different and with a much earlier and positive outcome.
Some of the people at OKA were not interested in the job but only in the salary they (hopefully) got. Of course: If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
Of course Arthur was often a dreamer and promised things which were (due to labour and money constrains) unachievable. Arthur was not a manager. He should have gone back to the floor and run production (we often discussed this issue with him). Don’t get us wrong: He did all in good faith and was convinced in the success of the OKA. The investor (Paari) should have replaced him with a proper, external manager. But he didn’t – why?
We believe Paari’s intention never was to go into production with the OKA. For him this company was either a tax game or served as an immigration guarantee for him and/or his family, He gave OKA just enough money to keep the game going. Due to this we don’t believe that OKA will ever float again, except if there is a buyer who believes that OKA is worth the money he would have to invest. Let’s hope – the OKA is still a very good truck (except for the axles).
Anyway: Thank to all the good and true workers at OKA who held the flag up until OKA’s last breath. Special thanks for their engagement and all the help we received from Arthur (yes!), Linden, Peter, Angelika, Markus, Andrew, Allan and a few more.
We wish you all the best for our future.
Susi & Ruedi
February 5, 2012 at 9:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

joseph baz
Member
Posts: 332
Maybe all the NT owners(as XT and LT owners have no legal standing) should make their concerns heard by calling the DPT of fair trading and try to force OKA to mantain an Australian based spare parts department at least for a few years,just an idea!
Cheers,Joe
February 5, 2012 at 11:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Tony & Jackie
Member
Posts: 7
We had an order in for an OKA, which was due for delivery in May 2011. Unfortunately, our timing could not have been worse as this appeared to be the beginning of the downward spiral for OKA. It's such a shame as our OKA was 75% completed and is still sitting on the factory floor at Bibra Lake. However, as OKA could not guarantee a delivery date we asked for our deposit back. We did get all our deposit back , with interest, over a period of approx 4 months. If anyone else still has money owing to them and wants some advice, post your contact details and I'll be in touch.
Regards Tony
February 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Andy (and Deb)
Member
Posts: 25
And again .......'absolutely bloody awful news'
All this leaves a horrible empty feeling in your guts, what can one do?
Hal, looks like I may need that spare belt you mentioned! 'Cos I don't recon Allan would be able to squeeze in another job this week.
--
Cheers

Andy and Debbie 'Oka 055'

February 7, 2012 at 12:24 PM

David and Janet Ribbans - Oka 148
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