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‘‘We’re mak­ing the de­ci­sions and we are con­tin­u­ing to sup­port the in­dus­try. We’re con­tin­u­ing to keep our en­gi­neer­ing com­pe­ten­cies up, not just with Fal­con but with a global pick-up truck en­gi­neer­ing pro­gram, so we’re re­tain­ing that con­fi­dence and ca­pa­bil­ity as we work our way through this pe­riod.’’

What about Fo­cus ex­ports?

‘‘It’s a global prod­uct. We’re link­ing it with Asia. We want to work on a stronger ex­port pro­gram.’’

Why have Euro­pean im­ports not done well for Ford Aus­tralia?

‘‘Well, we’ve had a lot of con­ver­sa­tions about this at Ford and I think the most im­por­tant an­swer to that ques­tion is con­sis­tency of pur­pose. We have a prod­uct here, we stop that, we bring an­other one in.

‘‘The world-class com­pa­nies have an un­re­lent­ing con­sis­tency of pur­pose on their prod­uct lines. I think the most im­por­tant thing is the brand it­self and what does it stand for. We’re go­ing to fo­cus on that fam­ily of ve­hi­cles and ev­ery year for­ever, the con­sumer’s go­ing to know what those Ford ve­hi­cles stand for.’’

What about the rest of the Ford busi­ness in Aus­tralia?

‘‘We’re re­tain­ing our en­gi­neer­ing com­pet- ence by do­ing the global com­pact pick-ups, so we brought that project into Aus­tralia so we can still main­tain the en­gi­neer­ing work­force since we’ve com­pleted Fal­con now. And that’s a global prod­uct, it’s go­ing to ev­ery mar­ket in the world with the ex­cep­tion of the US.’’

How do you see Aus­tralian car-mak­ing?

‘‘Only 15 coun­tries in the world have the in­tel­lec­tual and man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity to cre­ate, de­sign, man­u­fac­ture, ex­port and sup­port mo­tor ve­hi­cles, and when you think about that, it’s pretty neat — and Aus­tralia is one of those coun­tries.’’

What sup­port did you want from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment?

‘‘This is a time when maybe a pause in the tar­iff re­duc­tion would be ap­pro­pri­ate.’’

Is it crit­i­cal for Ford Aus­tralia?

‘‘Well, the thing about the pause is the near term be­cause, clearly, go­ing through this cy­cle in the econ­omy as well as bring­ing in smaller ve­hi­cles, it’s just an im­por­tant time right now to take this pause. Longer term, we can con­tinue to im­prove the com­pet­i­tive­ness of our­selves and of the in­dus­try, and right now I think it’s a crit­i­cal piece.’’

How do you see the global mar­ket?

‘‘When you look world­wide, we think about 60 per cent of ve­hi­cles sold are go­ing to be small, about 25 per cent will be medium — cars, util­i­ties and trucks — and about 15 per cent will be large. So you want to have the right prod­ucts in those seg­ments.’’

Will there still be a place for V8 en­gines?

‘‘The mar­ket will de­cide. And, again, this is back to the struc­tural change. I re­ally think the world has changed with the oil prices.’’

Will Ford sell Volvo and Ford, as it sold Jaguar and As­ton Martin?

‘‘Well, the fo­cus on Volvo is im­prov­ing its busi­ness per­for­mance on the brand side and the cost side, and that’s the near-term fo­cus for Volvo. We have a great re­la­tion­ship with Mazda.’’

What is your bot­tom line?

‘‘You guys have to be bullish on your in­dus­try. Aus­tralia is a tremendous op­por­tu­nity for us.’’

We can do it: Ford global chief Alan Mu­lally says Aus­tralia is one of a few coun­tries that can make cars.

Pic­ture: FIONA HAMIL­TON

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