Blue oval in black

The yard’s full of un­sold cars and work­ers are laid off but Ford an­nounces a profit

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - Paul Pottinger

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’’.

Op­ti­mistic fu­ture:

Worker Med­hat Khal­ifa; (right) CEO

Bob Graziano

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