A day to for­get

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - PAUL GOVER CHIEF REPORTER paul.gover@carsguide.com.au

THINGS must be dif­fer­ent on Planet Ford.

Here in the re­al­world, the death of Ford Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles is Very Bad News.

Yet Ford Aus­tralia tries to make the rot­ten rev­e­la­tion about FPV’s lack of a fu­ture be­yond 2014 look rosy with one of the­worst spin jobs in the his­tory of Aus­tralian mo­tor­ing.

For a start, an­nounc­ing the death of FPV on Re­mem­brance Day, Novem­ber 11, is just plain in­sen­si­tive to any Ford fan.

And this comes af­ter its ear­lier at­tempt, very badly, to paint the end of lo­cal car man­u­fac­tur­ing with the Fal­con and Ter­ri­tory as a smartmove into a full-im­port fu­ture.

News of the FPV clo­sure leaks early on Tues­day through so­cial­me­dia but it is nearly five hours be­fore any­one at Broad­mead­ows has any­thing to say or any an­swers to Carsguide ques­tions. Ac­tu­ally, they say noth­ing and rely in­stead on another care­fully crafted, but badly off­line, press re­lease that at­tempts very poorly to shift the em­pha­sis to the XR8 Fal­con.

“Ford’s iconic Fal­con XR8 sedan will re­turn to the Fal­con line-up in late 2014,” the com­pany trum­pets.

It’s only when you read down to the fourth para­graph of the XR8 an­nounce­ment that you find the real news.

“As the Fal­con XR8 re­turns to the Ford range, the Ford Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles (FPV) range will re­tire,” it says. “Re­tire”? Se­ri­ously? Re­tire? FPV is be­ing killed and, al­though it’s not real news as Broad­mead­ows winds back on all fronts, the­way it’s be­ing an­nounced is am­a­teur­ish and badly done. Not just that, but Ford ac­tu­ally prom­ises big things in 2014.

“Ford has planned a se­ries of ac­tions dur­ing 2014 to en­sure the fi­nal FPV mod­els cel­e­brate the brand’s iconic sta­tus. Fur­ther de­tails will be pro­vided at a later date,” it says.

We’re as­sum­ing that means a farewell Fal­con GT, or two, to cash in on the ea­ger­ness of long-term GT fans and col­lec­tors to have one of the last Aussie mus­cle cars. Butwhy would you bother?

Ford be­lieves the XR8 will be the hero car in its last Fal­con line-up, which is ex­pected next Oc­to­ber. Pro­vided, of course, sales of the Broad­mead­ows-built lo­cals don’t slide any fur­ther in the first half of 2014.

Right now, we wouldn’t bet on that up­dated Fal­con mak­ing it to show­rooms.

Very Bad News: The fi­nal chap­ter of FPV shapes up as a sad saga

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