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Ford's local future under a cloud 

 

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 Post subject: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:04 am 
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It looks like ford will be creating a 'world car' to reduce production costs... no longer going to be an exclusive aussie falcon
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FORD'S future as a carmaker in Australia is hanging in the balance with nothing to replace the Falcon when the current model finishes in five years and no guarantees that the plant will get the cash needed to retool.

Speaking on the eve of the Detroit motor show, Ford chief executive Alan Mulally refused to say whether retaining the Australian manufacturing operation, which posted a $274 million loss last year, was part of the company's long-term strategy.

Ford Australia, which ditched plans to build a small car just six months ago, is now examining other options to large cars in an effort to keep its Melbourne factory alive.

Ford Australia chief executive Marin Burela said yesterday: "We're looking at a variety of things at the moment. What we build in Australia will evolve over the next 18 months to two years."

Mr Mulally said developing a new Falcon just for Australia was no longer an option.

"People who make one vehicle for one country -- a different vehicle -- those days are gone because you can't compete with the global companies," Mr Mulally said. He said that regardless of where a car was sold, buyers everywhere were now looking for the same things.

"Around the world now, the things that are driving every purchase decision are quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and the best value," he said.

Mr Mulally, who was brought in to turn Ford around after a long career at Boeing, has divested the company of other brands to focus on his One Ford strategy -- a one-size-fits-all approach that moves the company to global models developed for sale in all markets.

The first fruit of that strategy is the next Focus, which was scheduled to be built in Australia from next year to secure the local outpost's long-term future -- a plan that has since been dumped.

Mr Mulally said there was no chance that decision would be reversed and offered no vision of how Ford Australia would fit into the One Ford plan.

"Australia is a very important market for us and we've worked hard to be competitive," he said. "No matter what, we're going to serve the Australian market."

The current two-year-old Falcon is due to be replaced in 2015 and the nameplate is expected to continue. However, the requirements of the huge US market will be most influential in shaping the eventual model, which is expected to ditch the rear-wheel-drive format in favour of front or all-wheel drive.

Ford is unlikely to make a decision on its global large car for another two years. Ford Australia's Broadmeadows plant would need to be extensively retooled to make the car but Mr Burela refused to say whether Detroit would fund the overhaul.

Ford Australia, the smallest of the local makers, built about 55,000 cars last year with only a handful destined for export.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:14 am 
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Quote:
All-Aussie Falcon could be history, says Ford

From: AAP January 12, 2010 10:24AM

THE all-Australian Ford Falcon could soon be a thing of the past, the world president of the American car-makers has warned.

The Falcon marks 50 years on Australian roads this year, but speaking at the Detroit motor show, Ford boss Alan Mulally said only one large car platform would be built for all world markets under the company's One Ford program.

"The best thing for Ford is to bring our scale and volume (to the market)," Mr Mulally told Fairfax newspapers.

"(Car-makers) who make one vehicle, a different vehicle for one country, I think those days are gone, because you can't compete with the global companies and Ford's going to be a powerhouse globally."

The likely successor for an Australian designed and engineered Falcon is a car based on the American Ford Taurus, which unlike the Falcon is a front-wheel drive car.

The Taurus was imported to Australia in the late 1990s with little success.

Mr Mulally would not say if Ford Australia would play a leading role in developing the large car platform, or whether a local version of the global car would be built in Australia.

Ford Australia president Marin Burela told Fairfax he hoped Australian engineering talent would be used for the project.

A decision on whether the world cup would be front- or rear-wheel-drive was at least a year away, he said.

"The all-new Falcon doesn't have to come into play until the end of 2014, early 2015, and we don't have to make a decision until 2011 on what that vehicle will be, in terms of styling, technologies " he said.

Mr Mulally said Ford Australia may help to develop the rear-wheel-drive Mustang platform.

The Ford Falcon was introduced to Australia in 1960.

The car has been the mainstay of Ford's Australian manufacturing operations.

Ford Australia employs about 4700 people at its Victorian plants, 2300 of whom were factory floor workers and 2400 in areas such as engineering, administration, marketing and product design.

Panels and engines for the Falcon and its Territory wagon variant are produced at Geelong, with assembly housed at Campbellfield, in Melbourne's north.

Falcon was the fifth-highest selling car in Australia in 2009, with 31,023 sales compared with 44,387 sales for the top-selling Holden Commodore.

Flagging sales because of higher fuel prices have hurt the Falcon and the Australian large car sector in recent years.


Sourced from news.com.au

Well there it is. I won't be buying a Ford again if this comes true. I'll have to look to the Europeans for something of similar capabilities. BMW M5? Of course it means i'll have to go get a better paying job...
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:16 pm 
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now would be the time to get your hands on a L.E ford like the new fg fpv gs or the bf cobra or an older car and restore it now . . . s**t i might even get the ef in mint cond and keep all the original s**t . . .
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:49 pm 
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Sounds like ford is definetly dead in V8 supercars then.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:56 pm 
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its just ford US trying to dig itself out of the s**t its put itself in (Pickup trucks FTW - NOT!) if they can our falcon and sell us imported tauruses instead they will keep some of their factories chugging away (while thousands loose their jobs here) considering how well american designed and built cars have always fared here and in europe/UK wouldnt we be better off with the mondeo as our large car.

better idea would be to let us keep making good cars like the falcon (possibly with a slight downsizing) then they can make copies of them in the US to suit there tastes, for example put s**t quality interiors on them, great big s**t looking bumpers grilles etc, detune the suspension ( or easier still just remove the ARB's completely) halve the braking performance and then tune the engine to give no throttle response at all viola, instant american top seller.

if they kill the falcon i guess the territory is dead as well and we will be recieving exploders next?

 

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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:23 pm 
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JOSE wrote:
its just ford US trying to dig itself out of the s**t its put itself in (Pickup trucks FTW - NOT!) if they can our falcon and sell us imported tauruses instead they will keep some of their factories chugging away (while thousands loose their jobs here) considering how well american designed and built cars have always fared here and in europe/UK wouldnt we be better off with the mondeo as our large car.

better idea would be to let us keep making good cars like the falcon (possibly with a slight downsizing) then they can make copies of them in the US to suit there tastes, for example put s**t quality interiors on them, great big s**t looking bumpers grilles etc, detune the suspension ( or easier still just remove the ARB's completely) halve the braking performance and then tune the engine to give no throttle response at all viola, instant american top seller.

if they kill the falcon i guess the territory is dead as well and we will be recieving exploders next?



+1 i agree with you jose - very good points . . .
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:51 pm 
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last i heard for was going to try to put an econetic engine in the falcon (4 cyl twin turbo) andnow thewr not sure of falcons future WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:56 pm 
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the thought of this scares the s**t out of me. the biggest joke of all in my opinion is the sales figures, como, corrolla, camry and aurion are all big fleet sellers and thats where theyre getting their numbers(I'd almost put a weeks wages that those are the top 4 in front of the falcon). its just a shame that its the overall figures that they look at not the customer satisfaction ratings.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:00 pm 
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thats buisness its all numbers and if they arent what they want them to be they make change, it is sad though if the falcon does end up being dropped
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:08 pm 
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i really dont think it would end up happening...they said that about the i6 but ended up keeping it.
they have an american falcon, the fusion i think its called but its not rwd might be awd.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:15 pm 
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wish we had awd falcs here lol xr6t awd would be mega
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:27 pm 
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i think that this has come from left field, it has been tried before to force feed us an American product which is why the Taurus failed, as it was crap, but it caused huge ramifications to the local Falcon as it paused the EL update for a year, meaning the AU was late also, but because of these failings the BA was the best Falcon ever made, and thus the FG continues.

There has been rumours about front wheel drive Falcons since the late eightys but hasnt eventuated.

Also they said the straight six was dead which hasnt eventuated due to the fact that they couldnt find a replacement that would match the current six yet alone the updated one to be released.

In the current market if you look the break down of Falcon sales the standard Falcon makes up about 2% i believe the rest is the XR6 and premium range of G series cars mostly G6E and G6E Turbo, all of which are cream cars (higher profit cars). Meaning the Falcon is profitable even at its current level.

When the BA was released they took one to America and one to Europe, (Wheels magazine), when it was tested in America by the American road testers they said then that it was the car they needed then to reinvigorate the us car market. the europeans couldnt believe it was a straigt six and compared it to the BMW 5 series and the Falcon (XR6 Turbo) was found to be superior.

The only reason the Falcon isint sold in the US is i believe because the US unions are to powerful and would kill Ford with strikes etc.

But i personally would not listen to these rumors and wait and see what happens, as there has been many things proposed in the past, and just because they are investigating different thing doesnt mean they will be instigated.

If you are concerned, write a letter to the president of Ford Australia, outlining your concern, what you would like to see in your future Falcon, and your pride in owning a great Australian designed and built vehicle of world standards.

You can get the Ford Presidents address by calling the discovery centre.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:15 pm 
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Cobra22 wrote:

In the current market if you look the break down of Falcon sales the standard Falcon makes up about 2% i believe the rest is the XR6 and premium range of G series cars mostly G6E and G6E Turbo, all of which are cream cars (higher profit cars). Meaning the Falcon is profitable even at its current level.



have you ever worked in the industry? If you had you would know the 'cream' as you put it is in volume not in the sale of the luxury items, otherwise the fairlane may still be with us. The only real seller in the retail non fleet market is the non turbo xr6 and I dont know how much the factory makes but the dealership and sales person makes sweet fa out of these.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:21 pm 
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All this has been about the Falcon sedan would they consider doin' any of this environmental stuff to the Falcon utes

 

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 Post subject: Re: Ford's local future under a cloud
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:22 pm 
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phunkshun wrote:
All this has been about the Falcon sedan would they consider doin' any of this environmental stuff to the Falcon utes


Indeed they would. And we will have 2 options. Ranger or Super duty. Once costing up to 50% more than the falcon ute and the other costing up to 500% more (when privately imported and converted to RHD) than a falcon ute.


The supply agreement between Ford US and Ford AUS is what's killing us. Kind of like the supercar scare in 1972 but this time its not about supercars. Instead they will shut down Aus manufacturing operations before an Aus Ford is sold in the US. We have to get in touch with all of the Joe the plumbers in the US (Remember the face of the Obama vs Mcain election campaign). Heck offer private low volume export compliance to those who want it in the hope of showing them just how much better a falcon is than a Taurus or Fusion. Ford US will never bring a falcon over there for anything more than private evaluation purposes so we have to do it for them.

They are blackmailing us into submission and Toyota getting the govt grant for being the first company to develop a hybrid on Aus soil didn't help.
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