Ford’s new home

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

Sales

of the Com­modore and Fal­con con­tinue to fall through the early months of 2015, trig­ger­ing re­newed talk, in Ford’s case, of an early shut­down of the fac­tory at Broad­mead­ows.

Ford in­sid­ers now re­veal the lack of ad­ver­tis­ing for the Fal­con is be­cause the most-popular model, the XR8, is now ef­fec­tively a sell­out through to the end of lo­cal pro­duc­tion.

Ford is be­lieved to have capped XR8 pro­duc­tion at 1500 cars, based on the num­ber of en­gines it has al­lo­cated to the FG X runout pro­gram. It is un­will­ing to com­mit to ex­tra sup­plies in case de­mand drops even fur­ther.

Po­ten­tial buy­ers are also find­ing it hard to get pro­duc­tion slots for Fal­con utes and the Ter­ri­tory. This is be­cause the pro­duc­tion line is now run­ning at a greatly re­duced speed, with out­put re­stricted ac­cord­ingly.

Fe­bru­ary sales to­tals, re­ported by VFacts, show only 2515 Com­modores were de­liv­ered for the month and the dis­mal to­tal for the Fal­con, in­clud­ing both sedans and utes, is down to only 728 cars.

Those num­bers com­pare with 781 Fal­cons and 2777 Com­modores in Fe­bru­ary, 2014.

The year-to-date to­tals look no bet­ter, show­ing Holden num­bers fell from 5141 to 4301 from 2014 to 2015 and Ford’s to­tal dropped from 1479 to just 1272 cars. The

fu­ture of Ford is an up­town move away from Broad­mead­ows.

It is about to open a new sales and mar­ket­ing base close to the cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict, leav­ing the ex­ist­ing of­fice block along­side the Fal­con fac­tory for use by its en­gi­neer­ing team.

The new-look Ford sales com­pany will be based in Rich­mond, where 200 staff will be lo­cated in Vic­to­ria Gar­dens at an of­fice sched­uled to open by the mid­dle of the year.

Back at Broad­mead­ows, Ford Australia says its Asia-Pa­cific en­gi­neer­ing ‘cam­pus’ will not be af­fected by the pro­duc­tion shut­down. It cur­rently em­ploys around 1500 en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians, who mostly work on off­shore projects sim­i­lar to the Ranger ute which was de­signed and de­vel­oped in Australia but is built in Thai­land and sold through­out Asia.

Ford also says its ad­vanced en­gi­neer­ing op­er­a­tions housed at Gee­long and Lara will not be af­fected.

“The trans­for­ma­tion of Ford’s head of­fice into the Asia-Pa­cific En­gi­neer­ing Cen­tre will sig­nal that we will be the only au­to­mo­tive com­pany that can fully de­velop ve­hi­cles in Australia,” says Bob Graziano, the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent of Ford Australia who has ex­tended his tour of duty un­til the fi­nal Fal­con rolls off the lo­cal as­sem­bly line.

“The na­tional sales com­pany in Vic­to­ria Gar­dens, lever­ag­ing our out­stand­ing pro­duc­tion lineup, will fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing Australia’s best au­to­mo­tive cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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