Major model moves
Ford’s line-up is about to change, writes Paul Gover
ONE of the biggest product pushes in Ford’s Australian history is now shifting into top gear.
The pocket rocket Focus RS is almost a sellout, the first deliveries of the supercharged Falcons from Ford Performance Vehicles have begun, and there is a string of new arrivals planned to take the brand through to the end of next year.
The most important is the fourcylinder Falcon – to be called the Falcon EcoBoost – in the second half of next year.
Ford Australia also intends to have a Falcon with liquid-petroleum injection, and the Territory will finally get a V6 turbo diesel engine.
‘‘In the next 12 months around 85 per cent of the Ford product catalogue will be new or updated,’’ Ford Australia’s Peter Fadeyev says.
‘‘This is a blend of new model introductions and regular model updates. The winners will be Australian customers.’’
The latest Thai-built WT Fiesta is the next model on the launching pad, followed by an upgraded Mondeo. Both cars will be in showrooms from next month, though the flagship Mondeo Titanium does not arrive until December.
‘‘The Titanium has a lot of the latest European safety systems, such as lane-departure warning,’’ Mr Fadeyev says.
November also brings a limited- edition Territory with more equipment and a slight visual tweak as part of the run-out for the big change – including the turbo diesel – in the first half of next year.
The big action happens in the second half of next year with the Falcon as the headliner, but an all-new Focus and the Ranger pickup are on the plan.
Ford is not giving any solid details yet on the Focus, which will be built like the Fiesta in Thailand, but says the Ranger line-up will be much more extensive than the single display vehicle at the Australian International Motor Show.
While Ford is pushing hard, GM Holden also has plans for its own new-model drive following the arrival of the Barina Spark.
It says there will be 10 new models in less than two years. But it is not going into any detail beyond the obvious switch to an all-new Barina to sit slightly above the Spark, the localised Cruze hatch and an all-new Captiva SUV.
‘‘Over the next year and a half Australian customers will see a rollout of new Holden product like they’ve never seen before. We will have new, world-class, marketleading Holden vehicles competing in almost every segment in this market,’’ GM Holden chairman Mike Devereux says.
‘‘Spark is just the beginning, with more fresh and original vehicles in the pipeline from our global and local design teams.’’
On the move: the Ford Focus RS is going gangbusters.