Ford to end Australia production

Ford Falcon
23 May, 2013 11:50am Tom Phillips

Troubled Ford of Australia confirms closure of its two factories in 2016

Ford has announced that it is to stop building cars in Australia from October 2016. The move was signed off last night, and will see the firm’s manufacturing plant at Broadmeadows in the north of Melbourne, and its engine plant in Geelong close with the loss of 650 and 510 jobs respectively.

Ford has blamed the strength of the Australian dollar for the move, with Ford of Australia president, Bob Graziano, saying, “"Our costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times Ford in Asia."

Trading conditions in Australia are tough, as the country’s mineral wealth has bolstered the strength of the dollar, driving up costs of locally built cars when compared to imported models.

Sales of large saloons have also fallen rapidly, with buyers looking to downsize – the current best-selling car in Australia is the Mazda3 – or switch to SUVS.

The news comes in the same week that Ford of Europe chief, Stephen Odell, issued a rallying call to European policy makers to improve trading conditions in the area, to help boost sales and reduce manufacturing costs.

However, Ford has also announced that its US sales are continuing to boom, with the firm confirming that it will build an extra 200,000 vehicles in the States this year to meet increased customer demand.

Ford has been building cars in Australia since the Model T was first constructed in 1925. Ford’s Australia arm built around 37,000 cars but lost £93million. Ford of Australia has lost around £386 million in the past five years.

The current Ford Falcon and Falcon-based Territory SUV will receive one final facelift – paid for with help from the government – before the manufacturing plants are closed.

Although Ford will stop building cars in Australia, the firm is planning to expand its line-up by 30 per cent by 2016, including adding the new EcoSport to the range.

That should also mean that the famous Ford versus Holden rivalry played out in the V8 Supercars series remains hotly contested. Holden has promised to remain a carmaker in Australia until at least 2022.

Ford’s Australian workforce will be helped to find new jobs, with the national government contributing around £19million, while the state of Victoria, where the plants are located, adding just under £6million. However, Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has called on Ford to contribute to the fund.

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A sad day.

The last of the Interceptors.

These dated and crude old things should have been axed years ago, no wonder they can't shift them.

Well, that's because Ford didn't take the time to thoroughly update them, because there is still a market for big cars, its called the Middle East. Plus this architecture (after being overhauled) could have served as a basis for a new generation of RWD Lincolns.

v8 Falcon engine is an extinct Dinosaur that average Joe Aussie can no longer afford to run, Ford Australia killed themselves.

A more commercial RWD BMW 3 Series Efficient Diesel 80 MPG 150 MPH performance is the way the Falcon should have gone an been at, BMW 3 series 17,105 sales Europes No8 best selling car in April came very close to outselling the NEW Focus 18,715 sales last month in Europe.

Ford are an out of touch company both in Europe and Austrlia deaf don't listen to what the buyer wants, the Ford US is propping up Ford with F-Series truck sales.

Ford of Europe is just as bad out-of-touch, are you listening to the market Ford?

European sales Jan-April (JATO)
RWD BMW 3 Series sale Up +20.9%
NEW Ford Focus sales DOWN -15.7%

Mercedes Benz sales in April +11.5% in Europe what slump?

v8 Dinosaur Falcon sales in April just 717 sales DOWN -29% dropped from No2 to No37 with dinosaur v8s.

Come on Ford wake-up!!!

I personally worked in diesel Falcon program in the past that had been given up later on. Could have been in the market these days. But I have doubts that it would be as fuel efficient or successful as 320d for example. Any way, end of production sounds very sad...

Nice rwd Mondeo. Well said fred.

I take it you haven't driven one? Multi link IRS, twin cam dual vct turbo engines, plenty of refinement. It was 90% of a 5-series for 33% of the price!

what was the diesel engine that was going to be used, TC?

2.7L V6. Did that sound familiar?