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Falcon & Territory production to cease in 2016

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by Stephen Walker

23rd May, 2013

Without a substantial and successful export programme in place and with local sales of the Ford Falcon and Territory models trending downwards, it had been widely anticipated that production at Ford's two plants in Victoria would cease operations at some point. Whilst generally accepting that the Falcon and Territory no longer had a long term future, the timeframe for the discontinuation of these models was not known.

Although Ford had at one time wanted to manufacture the current Focus in Australia, that didn't eventuate when Thailand was chosen as the production site. Without a small car 'on the radar' for local production, many people realised that the plant's future was not secure. Only the timing for closure was uncertain. That uncertainty was resolved this morning.

President of Ford Australia, Bob Graziano, this morning confirmed the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants will cease production and close in October 2016.

As previously announced, both the Falcon and Territory will be 'updated' in 2014. These 2014 models will then continue production until local production ceases. Production volumes will be matched with consumer demand.

The Falcon model name will not be applied to a successor model.

Ford Australia will continue to import vehicles into Australia and, in fact, plans on increasing the model range in coming years to further expand the Ford product line-up.

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Approximately 1,200 employees will be made redundant with the plant shut downs.

Ford will continue to employ approximately 1,500 local employees. About 1,000 of these are involved in product design and development. Ford Ranger (global) and Ford Figo (India) have been products that has witnessed local effort in design and development work.

The future of FPV and Ford Australia's involvement in motor sport is uncertain as no decision has been taken, as yet, as to how these aspects can be modified to fit into Ford's future locally.

Profitability has been a key factor in Ford's decision to cease local production. With a highly successful new vehicle retail market in Australia, Falcon and Territory sales have dwindled due to the buyer preference for the huge variety of models that are on offer locally. Ford's financially losses in Australia total $600 million over the past five years.

Now, as Falcon and Territory head towards their twilight years, Ford Australia can plan a future as a vehicle importer.

Ford's next new vehicle release in Australia is the Ecosport, a small SUV.


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