Ford Is Killing Off The Falcon

The Australian car industry has been in a bit of a crisis for the last few years, and uncertainty over its future has been rife. Today, however, the death knell sounded for Ford's Australian operations: come 2016, Ford won't make cars in Australia anymore. That means the death of the Ford Falcon in Australia within the next three years.

Image: Getty

Ford Australia boss Bob Graziano broke the news to factory workers in Victoria this morning, later telling the media that the decision to make cars in Australia is an expensive and unsustainable one.

Losses for this year total $141 million after tax, which puts the losses for Ford Australia over the last five years at around $600 million. Clearly, something had to give.

The Ford Australia boss added that the cost of doing business in Australia is twice the cost of doing business in Europe and four times the cost of doing business in Asia.

Ford will shutter its two major component manufacturing plants in the Victorian suburbs of Broadmeadows and Geelong in October 2016, with 1200 jobs set to go. The auto-maker says that it will explore the potential for redeployment of skilled workers, but the opportunities will be slim.

The decision to close the factories and cease production in Australia "was not made lightly", according to Graziano, and all other alternatives had been exhausted.

The shuttering of the Ford plants in Australia means that the iconic Ford Falcon will be retired come-October 2016. Get ready for a Falcon-less Australia.

For what it's worth, the government poured $35 million into Ford's Australian operations late last year to prop up the auto-maker here and create 300 new jobs. As we understand, Ford will still be taking that money.

Despite the fact that Ford won't make cars here in Australia anymore, it's still promising to have a large commitment to Australia via an expanded service program.

It's setting up a Customer Experience team to improve sales and after-sales service.

Ford Australia currently produces the Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory cars, which Graziano has said aren't exactly selling well in the country. Imported cars, however, are selling quite well, meaning that Ford will increase the number of new vehicles available by 30 per cent by 2016, so expect to see more cars like the Ranger, Focus and the new Kuga.

Our friends over at Business Insider points out that the Ford announcement comes a day after Holden unveiled the VF Calais, a model it says represents the future of Australian-backed motoring. I predict that we'll see a lot of "true blue" advertising coming out of Holden in the next few years.

Would this news put you off buying a Ford?


Comments

    Thank you Australian governments (past and present) for your ridiculous taxes, unrealistic unions having forced unrealistic and completely unjustifiable prices on cars in this country. When you're in Europe and you notice that EVERYONE is driving a merc, BMW, audi, range rover, etc, you know something is wrong with this bloody country. I'm surprised they held on for as long as they did really. Still can't get over the fact that for what you pay for an entry level falcon/commodore in Australia, you could buy a middle of the range euro, which is leaps and bounds ahead of anything produced locally, for the same if not less.

      Especially anything worth buying. The price of a mid range Tesla Model S is about $84k in Norway. Here it STARTS at $150k! That's almost DOUBLE the cost! For a country that's so dependent on cars for transport, with one of the poorest PT infrastructures around for our population, it's no wonder we're perceived as backwards.

        Public transport in Australia is excellent. I use it regularly and it works really well. I can't remember the last time I had an uncomfortable journey or didn't get to my destination on time. It compares very well to pubic transport I have used in Asia and Europe and is way better than PT in Los Angeles.

          Wow, your locality has public transport which is excellent and covers the whole country? Who knew.

            Yea, I think he should see the state of the airport line I go through every few days. Sure, I know some other developed countries are as bad, but if you want a classic example of how sh*t Australian transport is, get off a plane from the US and get on a train that smells, has sticky seats (if you can get one) and charges a rip-off just to get 4 stops into the city.

            Not the mention that the tunnel itself flooded last year. That was a hoot getting to work!

              The experience at Sydney Airport is actually one of the best I have experienced. At least it is in the same city, unlike Seoul, which is a 90 minutes freeway trip in a bus or Shanghai, where you can get a 435km/h mag-lev train from the airport that drops you in the middle of the outer suburbs, where you have to either gran a taxi for an hour's drive to the CBD or catch a subway train that makes Sydney's look great. Or how about LAX, where you need about 3 hours to make a connection, such is the time it takes to clear immigration and get through domestic security. Yeah, on the whole I'd say Sydney , Melbourne and Brisbane (the only international terminals I've experienced recently) are well above average.

            Well, as well as here in Sydney I have used public transport once or twice in Perth and now and again in Melbourne and Brisbane (I hate taxis) and found it all pretty decent. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore might have a decent train service but they have bench seats lining the carriage, so you'll never get a seat, but you wouldn't want one anyway as they are rock-hard plastic with no upholstery at all. We are so spoiled here it is almost beyond a joke.

            I've spent a lot of time in other cities and for every place with better PT than I've experienced here there are at least two that are far worse.

              Spoiled??? You gotta be kidding right!??

              I lived and worked in HK and Singapore as an Expat for 7 years and the trains may be sterile, with hard seats and designed for capacity, but at least they're frequent!! I would easily trade upholstery and comfy seats for rock hard bland ones that operate every 1-2 minutes, vs Brisbane where you're lucky if you get one every 15-30min. Australia would have to have one of the worst public transport systems on the planet IMO...

              Last edited 25/05/13 10:25 am

                It depends where you live. Try getting PT from Orchard Rd to Singapore Zoo. You have to time it just as closely as you would here in Sydney or wait for connections between bus and train. Or Kowloon to Stanley. Those mini-buses are pretty much opaque/invisible to visitors so unless you know what you're doing, you're stuck with connecting between train and bus again or queuing up for the ferry. Star Ferry might run every 5 minutes but when you're corralled for the 6th one along, you're still waiting half-an-hour to get aboard. Can't argue with the price, though.

                  I lived on Park Island, so Bus, MTR and Airport Express were all available to me. I also had a car over there towards the end of my stay to get to far reaching places like Sai kung..

                  Kowloon to Stanley I would have avoided the mini bus expedition all together, and caught the MTR to Central and headed for Citybus services 6, 6A, 6X and 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus (MTR Central Station Exit B).. And why use Star Ferry? I never used them cross river (this route is only for the tourists!), I always chose MTR or bus from HK island to Kowloon, and vice versa.. One thing you learn quick in HK is how to get around "efficiently" so I think its best that we just leave it at "you were doing it wrong"...

                  As far as Singapore, while I only lived their temporarily for 6 months building Changi airport (phase 2) , Orchard Rd to Singapore Zoo is best done via taxi... The MRT rail and bus systems are no where as extensive as what it is in Hong Kong.

                  Last edited 25/05/13 11:23 pm

                  Every time I'm in Hong Kong I take the 260 from Central - the southern coastline of the island is spectacular. Stanley is not what it used to be but the trip is amazing.

          Do you work and live in the city? I drive 55kms each way to work and then home again and it takes me around an hour door to door, even with the horrendous traffic on the Monash. On the odd occasion I decide to take PT, it takes me at least 2 hours door to door. Just because PT works for YOU does not mean that it fares so well for the rest of Australia.

          As for the complaint about the airport line - Melbourne still doesn't even HAVE an airport line. So you're comparing apples to... nothing?

          Oh god where do you live, like, Bus-ville? Train-ing-ton? Tram City?

      I am actually from Europe, and as far as your observations are concerned:

      A) Not everybody there drives Merc, BMW etc. While Mercedes does indeed do well in Germany (usually 2nd place behind VW), this is very different in most other countries, the majority of people buy small and medium cars, whereas in Australia large cars and 4WDs are still disproportionally represented, despite this making no sense whatsoever for most drivers (see school runs). Driving a 6cyl here is taken as a given, in Europe its 4cyl, usually in the 1.8-2.4 l range (this includes the like of Mercedes and Audi). Engine output is also significantly lower on average.

      B) Where do you get your prices from? Falcodores are cheap. They are in fact the cheapest large cars available (though Kia is now changing that) and depreciation means, they are dirt-cheap as used cars. Are you comparing to prices in Europe (in Australia European cars are much dearer, they also hold their value well generally)? Because thats apples and oranges. Yes, the Australian versions ask for large premiums, but the general running costs for a car, specifically large cars, in Australia pale in comparison to that of Europe, where fuel is dearer, taxes and insurance are higher and and the general level of income is actually lower. This is why I never owned a car while living there, making use of bikes and public transport, just like many younger people do over there.

        Depends whereabouts you are I guess. I was in Russia (Moscow, Itkursk, Baikal), Mongolia, Oslo and London just recently for a month or so and I guarantee there was a very high percentage of car brands I've mentioned above being the norm. So while I can't speak for the wider European community, I can speak from a position of my recent observations.

          Russia has super cheap fuel for one. Also public transport, while ok-ish in some cities, is definitely lacking most elsewhere and the large distances in some areas lend themselves to driving a car (or basically require it, just like in Australia). Also remembering Moscow, the amount of X5s and Q7s one can see there, thats definitely not representative of what the common folk use (see the still vast amounts of Ladas etc).

      Local manufactured cars should have tax breaks which in turn should reduce their purchase price, which in turn would mean more sales and more work for local manufacturing.

      instead the government wants to tax the shit out of everything and make manufacturing locally expensive that just moves jobs off shore.

      there is just no incentive to buy a locally manufactured car. if a local car is half the price but has half the value (e.g. features) of a European car will I opt for the locally manufactured car? not really because I'm getting equivalent what a pay for, BUT if the local car was a quarter the price but half the value of a European car then yes I would buy a locally made car.

      Last edited 23/05/13 12:04 pm

        You are speaking economic protectionism for the local industry and it has already been demostrated that it is a complete failure.
        There are two ways to achieve what you have proposed, tariff and subsidy.
        Tariff is where you make imported cars artificially more expensive by putting a tax or charge on them. That way, local cars will become comparatively cheaper at your expense as the minimum amount you pay for a car is still the same (in theory) but you will have to pay extra for imported cars. Downside of that is the lack of competition will lead to a lack of innovation and a general complacency in the industry. In the long term, the industry will still die out due to falling behind in innovation.
        Subsidy is what the government has been doing, giving cheap or free money to car manufacturers to artificially making their costs of doing business cheaper. In theory, you will be able to pay less for cars but at the cost of your tax dollars spent on an industry that is uncompetitive. In the end, the car manufacturers won't have any incentives to be efficient and they will continue to be uncompetitive.

          Of course, where this falls down is that every other country in the world offers far more support to their car industries. Therefore, our government needs to offer support to our industry simply to level the playing field and allow our industry to be competitive. Currently we have the lowest import tariff of any country that manufactures cars which is one reason we also have more choice than any other market. But it makes it harder for local manufacturing. As Bob Graziano pointed out today, the cost of doing business here is twice that of Europe and four times greater than in Asia and it sure doesn't help that our government does so little to help our industry be competitive. Commodore, Falcon and Territory are all world-class vehicles and amongst driving enthusiasts we are the envy of the world. Sadly it is a case of casting pearls before ignorant swine.

      The Industry was always destined to fail. We have a small population base, with very specific tastes ( bigger cars, larger engines, utes etc).

      The Australian Government has provided more than enough support in recent years to the car industry. I am still trying to find the link, but I know there was a document released by the Department of Finance and Deregulation, that showed that you could have given each of the 15000 employees of the car makers $1 million dollars to leave their jobs and it would have been cheaper than the current support they have received over the last decade. This money could have been spent by employees to retrain into another industry, or retire depending on their age.

      I have managed to find a link which gives a nice outline of some of the money that has been thrown their way in recent years. http://www.innovation.gov.au/Industry/Automotive/InitiativesandAssistance/Pages/default.aspx
      $5.4 Billion dollars to build a greener car? Thats like $234 dollars for every Australian. Spend our money more wisely!

        $5.4 billion over 13 years, that's like $18 per person, per year. i.e. the cost of a single adult movie ticket. In return the industry pays $1.8billion in tax every year. That's the equivalent of $78 per year for every Australian, which represents an annual return to the government of 333%, even before you take into account any of the other economic benefits of a strong manufacturing industry. How does 333% p.a. compare to your super fund?

        Let's not forget, the bulk of that money has to be matched 3:1 by the entity receiving it. e.g. The $34million that Ford took from the government last year required them to invest $100million of Ford's money here in Australia so that's a further 300% return, taking the total return on investment to more than 600%.

        To put I another way, it would be like someone asking you to invest 25% of the cost of a new house and then having them pay all the bills and give you all the rental money. It's a schweet deal by any measure and all you idiots can do is complain because you don't personally get anything from it.

      You cannot possibly have a go at the price of locally made cars. Falcon and Commodore are absolute bargains, as has been pointed out to great effect by Top Gear and Fifth Gear in the UK, where they pay a lot more for them than we do. e.g. Top Gear showed that for the price of an HSV ClubSport (Vauxhall VXR8 over there) you can only buy a mid-range, mid-powered 5 Series, E Class or A6. How much more do you have to spend here over an SV6 to get any car with 210kW, much less a full size, RWD sedan with perfect 50:50 weight distribution? If anything, local manufacturing keeps all prices lower as the locals have to keep the production lines running, which puts pressure on them to keep prices low. OTOH, imports are just cream for huge factories in the Northern hemisphere and having to make them in RHD and to comply with ADRs is something of a pain, so the factories price them accordingly. When Holden and Toyota stop manufacturing here, which is now a very real possibility, you can expect all prices to rise substantially.

        Pricing will depend, ultimately on competition. I agree, there will be potential in the large car segment for prices to rise, since Holden, Ford and Toyota have the cheapest offerings. However Kia is making strong impressions now and more often than not people also compare their large car-prices to those of what are actually medium sized cars (such as Mazda 6, VW Passat etc), so that will keep some pressure on too.

        The European and Japanese premium brands (well, the Euros and Lexus) will keep sticking to what price makes sense to them (ie high), because customers there care more about brand image and specs than about what they have to pay for it (certainly to the extend, that a few thousand dollars do not make much of a difference).

        The small/compact car segment however sees significant competition and prices are actually falling (inflation-and value-adjusted). This despite the Cruze being the only partially local car (the hatchback is produced locally).

          It's not just large sedans. If I can go out and buy a new VF Evoke that is chock-full of high tech kit, goes like the clappers and uses bugger-all fuel (I will demonstrate these points below) then it's $34k starting price pretty much rules a line under which all lesser cars must be sold. And with the new SV6 starting at just $35k, VW are really going to have to ramp up the mind control machine they rent from Apple to get anyone to stump up $40k plus for a Golf GTI. Oh, and for the record, all but the stripped out base model Kia Optima are more expensive than a new Commodore, which is why no-one buys them. Pity, they are gorgeous and make our roads more beautiful, even if they are rubbish underneath. They also have the worst resale value of any car you can buy (just 39% after 3 years).

          You are way off base about Cruze. All Cruze sedans and hatches sold in Australia are built in Australia. Only the recently released wagon is imported (from Korea). That's why the wagon is only available with the 1.8 petrol and disiesel engines, not either of the turbos. The Cruze hatch was designed here by Holden and both it and the sedan roll off the line at Elizabeth, along with Commodore, Caprice, Ute and various export models.

          Now, as to claims about the new Commodore. The base model not only has a direct-injection V6 making 185kW, it uses less fuel than a 122kW Mazda3 SP25 - 8.3 against 8.6 l/100km. It features all teh usual stuff plus the new Auto Park Assist (will park itself), automatic-release electric park brake, Hill Hold Control and Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control and ISOFIX child seat anchor points, dual-zone climate control, as well as an eight-inch touchscreen display with the MyLink infotainment system, various apps, iPod integration and Apple Siri Eyes Free, enhanced voice recognition and Bluetooth audio streaming. The old one did 0-100 in 7.7 seconds so the new one should be about the same. That's faster than any non-turbo 4 cylinder car and quicker than all but the most high-tech small turbos, too. because it is RWD and has perfect 50:50 weight distribution it will also despatch plenty of small cars around a track, even though it has the softest suspension tune and the smallest engine in the line-up. If you want all of that from any imported car, you either pay another 12 grand for a Chrysler 300 or pay at least double for something else.

      Get your facts right, Aussie built cars are much better value, than a euro cars over here. Sure they might have some features locally built cars may not have, but they are twice as expensive. The cheap euros are crap, bmw x1 = crap. The Euros car really only make nice expensive cars, their cheap stuff is shit

    ^ +1
    But I hope we get the 5.0 GT Mustang from the USA! I'll be saving my pennies for that Ford!!!

    Dont think there shuttering either, maybe there just shutting

    but yes this is not a good thing for our community at all

      Where is shutting? I thought they were shutting...

      Probably a good idea to check your grammar before you correct someone else's in the future, Steve.

      I understand it refers to putting shutters on the windows of a disused building. so yes they will be figuratively, if not literally shuttering the factory.

    Would this news put you off buying a Ford?

    Not in the slightest. I couldn't care less where a car was made, as long as it's well built, is engaging to drive, reliable, safe, and attractive.

    Australian car industry can't sustain because they lack innovation. They don't address the market.They try to sell gas guzzlers while consumers looking for an economical car. They sell cars with age old technology when their competitors are far ahead. They don't have much of an overseas market. Combine all this with high cost of labour you definitely can't sustain. Don't try to put a political spin to it.

      Exactly why small cars like the Mazda 3/6 have been selling so strongly over the past few years.

      Whats an example of this innovation you speak of?

        Electric! Hybrid! Where is an Australian made electric or hybrid car?

      Aussie built cars are not aged in technology. New VF was compared to a BMW, and lexus. so much better than an Accord. Cruze great little car, better than corolla, with more features. Ford also makes a fuel efficient eco-boost. They don't have a lack of innovation, get your facts right

    not surprising in the least, the only reason ford and holden, neither of which are truly australian companies, have kept some manufacturing here is because the government insists on giving them money, it was only a matter of time until the lure of cheap asian manufacturers outweighed the government monies enough for a ceo to bare to the backlash.

    holden will do the same before long, guaranteed.

    about time, now kill of the entire car industry in this country, we just should NOT be making cars at all, about time we invested in a industry of the future not one of the past! cars are way too expensive here, and protecting an industry that cant make profit makes no sense! when cars are 20 to 50% cheaper in the USA, than here it tells you something is really wrong here!

    Luke wrote: "...Victorian suburbs of Broadmeadows and Geelong..."

    Good job at upsetting the locals. Geelong is a self-contained, fully-fledged CITY; has been for many years.

      You're just a suburb to the rest of Victorians :P

      It WAS a suburb when I was living there.
      But that WAS many years ago.
      Can a suburb secede and become it's own city? Not being nasty, just surprised to hear Geelong being called a city.

        Since Geelong was proclaimed a CITY in 1910, you must be well over 100. Even prior to that Geelong was considered a TOWN - never a suburb of Melbourne. In fact it earned the title of Victoria's largest city behind Melbourne in 1936, when it outgrew Ballarat.

        Also, of the 314 official suburbs of Melbourne (2011 stats), Geelong is nowhere on the list.

        So, where is your evidence that Geelong is a suburb. Hearsay and public opinion btw are not evidence!

          See for yourself pattern
          http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/suburb_list.php?alphabet=g

            Your reference is an example of Crowd Sourcing/Public Opinion at best. I asked for any contestant to leave out Public Opinion references. Provide me with Municipal references, legal documents, Council Documents, AEC documents, Governance Documents, etc., that demonstrate that Geelong is a suburb. At the least provide me with a reference from a .gov site that backs up your argument.

      He's not wrong. Geelong (postcode 3220) is technically one of Victoria's suburbs.

        Okay, So if Geelong is a suburb of Victoria, by that logic Melbourne is just a suburb. So what does that make Broadmeadows...a sub-suburb? :)

    Ford is feeling the heat now because they were lazy, their whinging about not being able to build cars cost-efficiently in Australia is a sham. Talk about ending the Falcon had been going on for years now. The beautiful 4cyl-engine they are only now introducing on the Falcon should have been available five years ago. Also no diesel engines on the Falcon, wtf? A modern DI-four or six pot diesel should have been a given years ago too. Both modern diesel and petrol engines could have made a world of difference, when it comes to sales and general appeal of the Falcon. Holden isnt much quicker to catch on, but at least they were trying a bit more with their SIDI. Then Ford vacated the wagon-market, just when Holden with the Sportswagon actually showed that increasing sales is both feasible and desirable (wagons being generally more useful than sedans).

    The biggest tragedy now of course is that government subsidy last year. That should have been handled very differently. Now the FedGov looks like a complete moron, more welcome campaign ammunition for the Coalition.

    Good riddance. This backwards industry with it's ancient business model have been propped up by government handouts for over a decade. Let them die and maybe we'll see more of a reduction on the reliance of large cars and a move towards small to mid size vehicles.

    If only they would put a tax on commuting alone in full size four wheel drives and driver education included a mandatory motorcycle component my perfect world would be near-complete.

      Backwards industry don't get me started. All countries which make cars, are propped up by governments. You cant go drive your homosexual prius

    Why don't they look into manufacturing a smaller car for the Australian budget? Just look at how many Micra's are getting around because of the price. Sure they're not powerhouses, but god damn they run on fumes and they get you from A to B. Who needs a power house these days except for the hot heads. Too many aggressive people on the roads anyway.

      Thats what Holden did in a very limited way with development of the hatchback-version of the Cruze, including local production. Ford definitely has not caught on there, though considering how the corporation is set up globally, the Focus and Fiesta are already in that spot and local production does not make sense.

        But those two (Focus / Fiesta) do cost a bomb in comparison what Nissan has to offer. Perhaps local manufacturing doesn't make sense, but I feel bad for the workers that will be laid off because of the move. Even Holden could look into somehow dropping it's prices. Perhaps it's just not a viable move because of the Australian dollar, and average wages needed to sustain someone's life here is that much greater.

        Either way, everything has to change.

    This is an inevitability for all car manufacturers in Australia in the next 20 years. The industry is suffering worldwide, and the Austalian manufacturing sector is in a death spiral. Given the sky-high costs, who benefits from locally made cars other than employees? Everyone else loses out.

    lucky they added Mercedes and Nissan to the V8 supercars last year other wise in 2016 it would be boring to watch:

    V8 Supercars: Holden vs. Holden

    I guess the true blue yobbos would have loved it though.

      I was going to say something similar, I think the V8's have a place in Australia, I enjoy them. But I wouldn't concider my self a yobbo.

      I can't imagin that holden vs holden would have occured. I haven't seen any of the races this year but I hear good things about the introduction of the new cars.

      I think Ford looks for another bail out.

      So far Merc and Nissan are not doing too well though, and Holden is still keeping boredom alive. As much as I appreciate efforts at diversity, similar efforts in DTM (German touring car races) have never fared well for new entrants (there its Audi and Merc dominating). I think, the series would have to be completely revamped to allow more diversity, but that seems unlikely so far. Ford will most likely replace the Falcon in the series in a few years with whatever is heading their large-car segment then, obviously an import. Not too big a deal, since Holden and Ford in that series are using the same engine supplier anyway.

        Well it's their first year and they probably don't have as much backing (not that I know) but I certainly welcome more diversity in a boring-as-anything line up. Two models? *yawn*

    Excellent! Now go tell Holden to stop making the Commodore and the world will become a better place.

    Sad to see it go. Sad for al those people who lose there jobs. But costs here to manufacture are too expensive. Its either to fords at all or fords made over seas.

    Perhaps if the Govt actually stopped wasting money propping up what are obviously badly performing business, (in Ford's case, not even Australian) they could have used that money instead of sneaking in more taxes in the form of levies etc. to support far more important things like the NDIS / Disability Care.
    Good riddance to under-performing businesses I say.

    They would have been better off if they built the Focus or the Fiesta locally.

    Don't give me that whole Falcondore drivel. You see the cars above frequently driven on Australian roads.

      Focus and Fiesta are marketed as "world cars" manufactured in what is in each region the cheapest country (or countries). There is simply no reason for Ford to establish Australian productions, since Australia in itself is not a big market and sources for imports are nearby. The government would have to subsidize the whole thing to such an extend, it would basically be socialist economics.

      Last edited 23/05/13 12:51 pm

        That's the problem. Most of what Ford makes locally in Australia is bought locally. While Toyota and Holden isn't doing too flash, they're keeping afloat exporting them to viable overseas markets.

        Last edited 27/05/13 2:03 pm

          Not really. Toyota only builds two models, the Camry and Aurion, for the Australian and NZ market here. No production of TCMA (Toyota Australia) goes overseas, and they only started building the Hybrid locally because of a pretty massive government subsidy. Generally Ford and Toyota have a lot in common, including the local production focus on large cars. Holden on the other hand is not doing well at all with their exports, most of their endeavors have failed after a short time. Currently the only car they sell overseas is the Caprice, and to a very small customer base (some parts of US police services). Export of the Commodore has ceased four years ago. Frankly, if the government would pull further subsidies, its fairly likely, that all of them eventually pull out of local production.

            I can't speak for Holden, but I'm well aware that Toyota Australia exports a lot of its cars to the Middle East. They actually love their Australian-built Toyotas there (as mentioned by a friend from Saudi).

            Source: http://www.toyota.com.au/toyota/company/operations/exports

            Did a bit of googling and apparently the Arabs love Holden built GM cars too: http://www.holden.com.au/corporate/exports/vehicle-exports

            Last edited 28/05/13 5:23 pm

      Do you honestly think if Ford Australia assembled the Focus or Fiesta locally they would be able to sell it for the same price? Who would buy a car that's $5,000-10,000 more than the others in its class? Because that's how much extra it would be..

        Probably from the same folks who will buy locally no matter how much cheaper they can get the equivalent models from overseas.

        Just because cars are made here doesn't mean the are bad value, the Cruze is priced less than a corolla and has more features. The falcon is priced less than an accord, mazda 6. Get your facts right. If more people bought Australian built cars, they would probably be less

        Just because cars are made here doesn't mean the are bad value, the Cruze is priced less than a corolla and has more features. The falcon is priced less than an accord, mazda 6. Get your facts right. If more people bought Australian built cars, they would probably be less.

    So if we stop making cars in Australia, can the govt drop the tax on them to significantly reduce the price? From what I understood imports cost a fortune compared to overseas to protect the local market.

    No local market? Give us reasonable prices!

      Did you really type 'govt drop the tax'?

    Anyone who thinks the Falcon is anything less than a great RWD family car btw, wait until they start importing the god awful Taurus.

      Well, they tried that before and it bombed. Though to be fair the next time they are trying, they will probably give it a shot with a new "world car" along the lines of Focus and Fiesta. Something they can market in places like China too.

      By the way, I own a Falcon BF wagon. Its great for carrying stuff (my two dogs) and going distances on the shitty local highway, super-smooth engine. But as far as handling generally is concerned, its pretty shocking. Weight-distribution and suspension is a disaster.

        Should of bought a Sedan or a Territory, the BF wagon was still pretty much an AU with a facelift.

          The steering issues are the same for wagon and sedan, the front end is identical and actually very different from the AU and even the BA (most notably the radiator/transmission-issue had been solved). The Territory in my book is just a wagon with less space. Besides, its completely based on the underpinnings of the BA, so no progress there either, just more dead weight.

          I was aware of the deficits before I bought the car. It serves its purpose, its just something I notice.

          Last edited 23/05/13 4:29 pm

    Definition of shuttering
    noun
    [mass noun]
    wood in planks or strips used as a temporary structure to contain setting concrete, to support the sides of trenches, or similar.
    [count noun] a temporary structure made from planks.

    Ford could've prevented this if they just made cars people wanted to buy. Kinda obvious really. No idea why they didn't see it themselves.

      Agreed. Its true, the Falcon became unattractive to buyers a few years ago, and used to compete with Commodore for sales. Then, it lost it's mojo, wasn't a bad car, but was unattractive to most buyers, even Ford 'fans'. At that point they should have adapted to the changing market. Too many people are trying to blame the government for what is essentially a bad business decision, and the governments have been propping them up.

        How is it unattractive the Civic is an unattractive car not the Falcon

    I am in two minds on this one, the people who carry on about Holden and FORD stuck in the dinosaur age are ignorant, or single without a family to haul around. In our big country there is and always will be a need to have cars that fit 5 adults comfortably and can tow. Can't really see the average family buying a 7 series BMW for these tasks and a small car (which everyone thinks we need) won't cut it either. This isn't cramped Europe folks! Afterall, look at all the Land Rovers, Land Crushers, Pajero's etc used to pick up kids from school, those tanks are worse in every way than the Falcodores.
    Then the flip side, labour costs are too high here, the thing is, if your skill level is nothing more than being able to bolt on some suspension parts on an assembly line then you should be paid accordingly, you do not deserve the pay rates the unions have squeezed out of manufacturers.
    The only good news from all this is it appears FORD will be keeping R&D departments here beyond 2016.

    Last edited 23/05/13 1:18 pm

      Unfortunately every soccer mum these days just has to have an SUV to put the kids in and so the 40 year old mummies don't have to bend over with their sore backs to pick up the toddlers. They don't care that a Falcon or Commodore could do the job, be easier to park, get better fuel economy and drive better, parents these days are just too old to be bending down.

      I found that part about R&D in the press statement a bit hilarious though. So the folks who lacked any instinct or inspiration to adapt development to their own local requirements are meant to contribute to innovation on a global scale...how so?!

        FORD Australia was really at the mercy of the decision makers in Detroit so I'm not sure they made every bad decision we blame them for (after all, Detroit thought the Taurus would work here).
        Holden have their act together with exporting R&D to other GM subsidiaries world wide, it could work for FORD too if Detroit doesn't get involved too much. I suspect they may be kept on here to adapt the current Taurus to our local market, it's pretty ugly, but it does pack a twin turbo V6.

          I agree, the Taurus-thing was a US-decision, the local branch is not to blame for that. It really was just an observation of mine related to a different comment further up.
          It just struck me as ironic, especially compared to the Ford R&D branch in Germany, which is VERY proactive and innovative and has fielded numerous very successful developments both locally and globally (specifically the Focus, though they had a lot of say with other models too, hence the whole "Euro-style" PR approach of Ford generally nowadays).

          Holden is holding their own so far (slight pun), though they receive at least as much R&D as they export, and potential for local introduction of more innovative drive trains (the much touted SIDI really isnt that spectacular) was there for a long time prior to them launching it in the local market. Again, its hard to say who is to blame, GM or Holden. Its somewhat the same as with Opel in Europe - they are highly innovative and produce quality stuff again, but their operations are a clusterf+ck and its very hard to say, who is to blame for what.

    You forgot to thank successive Oz governments for giving ridiculous, unrealistic and completely unjustifiable amounts of money (directly and indirectly) to foreign manufacturing companies to stay here.

    I'll be very sorry to see the 4.0 litre turbo engine disappear. I've had one for 6 months and it is the best powerplant I've ever experienced. I'll be buying one of the last xr6 turbos to roll of the production line in 2016.

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