Oc­to­ber 7, 2016

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

The last day for the Ford Aus­tralia fac­tory at Broad­mead­ows will be a deeply per­sonal one for mem­bers of the Blue Oval fam­ily.

It will be the same for the work­ers at the Ford fa­cil­i­ties in Gee­long, a city that has re­lied for gen­er­a­tions on its car­mak­ing abil­i­ties. But don’t ex­pect a me­dia frenzy, a flag-wav­ing visit by se­nior politi­cians or a me­dia cir­cus on Oc­to­ber 7.

“It’s go­ing to be a pri­vate event for the man­u­fac­tur­ing em­ploy­ees. They are go­ing to de­cide how they want that ac­tiv­ity to go.

“It’s their event,” says Ford Aus­tralia spokesman, Wes Sher­wood.

He says the day the Fal­con dies will not be the end of the story or the cel­e­bra­tions.

“We ab­so­lutely re­alise that peo­ple will want to see and farewell the fi­nal ve­hi­cles. For our most loyal fans we’re plan­ning some­thing soon after Oc­to­ber 7.

“We’re def­i­nitely go­ing to have a nod to our rich his­tory, and also show that we have a rich fu­ture in Aus­tralia.”

The peo­ple most af­fected by the shut­down are the 800 staff in­volved at man­u­fac­tur­ing at Broad­mead­ows and the 300 who are also part of the car mak­ing ac­tiv­i­ties at Gee­long.

An­other group, around 180, is be­ing re­de­ployed from man­u­fac­tur­ing to other Ford Aus­tralia ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing the re­search and de­vel­op­ment work at Broad­mead­ows on fu­ture re­gional and global prod­ucts. What about the Bathurst week­end? “We recog­nise that the Fal­con will still be rac­ing. The teams are pas­sion­ate Ford folks and we’ve had great re­la­tion­ships with them, so we wish them noth­ing but the best. We’re proud that they are still track­ing our ve­hi­cles and that doesn’t end,” Sher­wood says.

It ap­pears to be purely co­in­ci­den­tal that the last Fal­con rolls off the pro­duc­tion line while the Bathurst 1000 meet­ing is in progress. There’s no ob­vi­ous strate­gic rea­son for Ford Aus­tralia choos­ing Great Race week­end for the clo­sure, in­stead the clash speaks vol­umes for the com­pany’s in­ter­est – or lack thereof – in hap­pen­ings on Mount Panorama.

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