Ford’s Bold Claim

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

Ford says that it will be Aus­tralia’s largest au­to­mo­tive em­ployer af­ter 2017. Even though it was the first to pull the pin on its lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing oper­a­tion, or per­haps be­cause of that, it is al­ready well ad­vanced with a sur­vival strat­egy fol­low­ing the clo­sure of its fac­to­ries in Broad­mead­ows and Gee­long.

It’s all about the brain power of more than 1100 en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers, and the One Ford strat­egy from Detroit that has Aus­tralia sup­ply­ing ex­per­tise through­out the Asian re­gion.

Ford has al­ready cre­ated the Ranger pickup for pro­duc­tion in Thai­land, de­vel­oped a baby Figo for Ford of In­dia, and is work­ing on a born-again Es­cort for China.

And those are just the projects we know about.

“There will be 1500 jobs, with 1100 of those in de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing,” con­firms Ford’s new Aus­tralian spokesman, Wes Sher­wood, to AMC.

“They are work­ing on some of the most ad­vanced prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies in the world,” says Sher­wood.

In the past, Ford Aus­tralia has been a closed shop when it comes to com­ment about its off­shore ef­forts. But Sher­wood and com­pany pres­i­dent Bob Graziano know they have to spread the mes­sage about the fu­ture be­fore the Fal­con and Ter­ri­tory be­come part of the past.

“Our over­all plan is to grow. That’s what people don’t un­der­stand,” says Sher­wood.

“We’ll have the largest au­to­mo­tive em­ploy­ment here af­ter 2017.”

And it’s not just the people who are al­ready em­bed­ded out­side the cor­po­rate head­quar­ters in Broad­mead­ows.

Ford Aus­tralia has just restarted its univer­sity hir­ing progam for an in­take in 2015 and is also look­ing to spon­sor promis­ing stu­dents.

“We’ll bring in some fresh blood and new ideas. And we’ve restarted our univer­sity re­search projects. We’re al­ready look­ing at con­nec­tiv­ity and lightweight­ing.”

Ford has al­ready con­firmed nine new mod­els over the next three years, from the work­ing-class Tran­sit to the new-age Mus­tang, with the Fo­cus and Mon­deo also slated to get ma­jor makeovers in 2015. But it’s not just wor­ry­ing about its own fu­ture. Ford Aus­tralia has just spon­sored a ‘sup­plier fair’ in or­der to help smaller com­pa­nies build con­nec­tions with over­seas Ford projects and big­ger sup­pli­ers to the blue oval brand. A to­tal of 40 Aus­tralian com­pa­nies were in­volved with 17 re­gional sup­pli­ers.

“Nine of them have earned re­gional or global busi­ness,” Sher­wood says.

“It was a re­ally im­pres­sive event. We made all the con­nec­tions.”

And he says that there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties, as sup­pli­ers in high-cost coun­tries such as Ger­many and Ja­pan have proven.

“There are ad­vanced ma­ture mar­kets around the globe with sim­i­lar is­sues to Aus­tralia who have been able to sup­ply and in­no­vate.”

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