Blue oval in black
The yard’s full of unsold cars and workers are laid off but Ford announces a profit
AS THE yards of its bustling Broadmeadows factory threaten to explode with thousands of unwanted Falcons, Ford Australia has announced an after-tax profit of $24.9 million for 2010.
The result, an improvement of $12.7 million on 2009, comes as sales of Ford’s locally made flagship have fallen by 40 per cent this year, the company has slashed production by 20 per cent and put off 240 workers.
Last week Carsguide counted some 2000 Falcon sedans and utes parked at Broadmeadows. The 3880 parking spots out of view are believed full. Only a day after Holden received $40 million from the Federal Government towards the development of its nextgeneration Commodore, Ford chief financial officer Frank Lazzaro confirmed Falcon production will be cut to a record low 209 units daily by mid-July. Despite the pressing problem of where to put the growing stockpile of cars, and having recorded a slight drop in total sales to 98,941 vehicles in Australia and New Zealand in 2010, the maker has tried to present a positive picture.
Ford Australia president and chief executive, Bob Graziano, says sales profits were higher as a result of a more varied mix of vehicles in response to customer demand’’.
Revenue last year from operations was $3. billion, up from $3.1 billion in 2009. Cash in hand was $232 million, up from $221 million, and intercompany borrowings were $475 million, down from $525 million. Graziano says other income of $116 million came primarily from federal competition credits, which were linked to production and new vehicle program launches.
Ford invested more than $307 million in research, development and facilities over the same time, covering global and local vehicle programs. Citing last year’s changing economic conditions and segmentation challenges’’, Graziano says Ford recorded its second consecutive year of profit and we continue to make the right decisions for our business.’’
Asked whether long-term production of the Falcon is sustainable, he says Ford has reset its targets to current demand and market mix’’.
Worker Medhat Khalifa; (right) CEO