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Ford Australia Reports Profit for 2009

Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 50th Anniversary Edition (copyright image)

Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo 50th Anniversary Edition

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7th May, 2010

Ford Motor Company of Australia Ltd (Ford Australia) yesterday reported a net after-tax profit of $13 million for 2009, an improvement of $287 million on 2008.

The company’s first profit since 2005 resulted from:

  • Sales revenue of $3.14 billion;
  • An improved company cost structure implemented at the end of 2008; and
  • The non-repeat of several one-time actions associated with the company’s restructure.

“As we celebrate 85 years of manufacturing in Australia and 50 years of Falcon, Ford Australia is extremely pleased that our hard work and singular focus on the needs of our customers has seen us return to profitability a year ahead of plan,” said Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela.

“Like our parent company in the US, Ford Australia took decisive and immediate action at the onset of the global financial crisis in late 2008 in order to weather the breaking economic storm.”

“We acted quickly to significantly restructure our business in line with the prevailing market conditions, which has resulted in a $13 million profit for 2009.”

“We significantly changed our sales and production focus to build cars based on demand and introduced more fuel efficient vehicles like the Fiesta ECOnetic while improving the environmental performance of our locally manufactured models.”

“The great work of our product development team paid off as the award-winning FG Falcon sedan increased its share of the large sedan segment from 25 per cent to 34 per cent over the year.”

“We also streamlined our production build process and maintained a laser-like focus on our inventory management.”

“These actions were not easy, and could not have been undertaken without the hard work and dedication of our employees and our dealers.”

“But they have delivered on the goal of improving our cash reserves and returning Ford Australia to profit despite an industry-wide downturn in sales, providing a strong base for continued growth and profitability.”

Sales revenue was generated from retail sales of 99,279 vehicles during 2009.

Ford Australia increased production volumes in the final three months of 2009 by implementing overtime in its Victorian-based plants, a trend which has continued each month so far in 2010.

“We are continuing to see an improvement in our business fundamentals by strengthening our brand appeal and delivering vehicles customers want and value. We expect this positive trend to continue through the rest of 2010,” Mr Burela said.

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Continued investment

During 2009, Ford Australia announced a continued investment programme of more than $230 million across its locally produced vehicle line-up.

Aimed at delivering improved fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, the $230 million investment will result in the introduction of the world’s first rear-wheel-drive EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine in Falcon in 2011, as well as the introduction of a class-leading liquid phase injection LPG system for Falcon and the launch of a new turbo-diesel engine for Territory, also in 2011.

In 2010 the company has continued to invest in its local operations, including the recent announcement of a $20 million programme to upgrade its Geelong-based casting plant, which will allow it to produce approximately one million brake parts annually for Bosch Chassis Systems Australia.

“Our casting plant investment is just one example of Ford Australia taking a different approach to our business to ensure our long-term success in Australia,” Mr Burela said.

“In addition to being a major vehicle manufacturer we are now also a supplier to the broader automotive industry through our innovative partnership with Bosch, repositioning us for an even stronger future.”

Milestone Year

During 2010, Ford Australia is celebrating 85 years of manufacturing in Australia and the 50 year anniversary of the iconic Falcon sedan, the longest-running vehicle nameplate in the history of Ford Motor Company.

To celebrate, the company is releasing a series of special edition Falcon 50th anniversary models. Production of the special 50th anniversary models will commence in June, with each model featuring unique exterior design elements, exclusive interior finishes and additional standard equipment.

“The Falcon's long and distinguished heritage is unmatched by any other car in the history of Australian motoring,” Mr Burela said. “Fifty years of continuity in any industry is a remarkable achievement, but it’s especially rare in a dynamic field like the car industry.”


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