Today is a sad day. One of Australia's big two homegrown car manufacturers, and one of half of the iconic red versus blue battle that has shaped our national consciousness on weekends like this one for decades, is finally shutting up shop. Today, Ford Australia produced the final car -- a Falcon, with the company's iconic four-litre inline six -- at its Broadmeadows plant.
In the video below, Ford Australia CEO Graeme Whickman introduces a lovely and nostalgic look back at the company's almost 100 years of history producing vehicles in and around Geelong and northern Melbourne in Victoria, starting with production of the Model T in March 1925:
Today we mark an end to 91 years of manufacturing in Australia. Watch as we celebrate our history and give you a glimpse of the future. pic.twitter.com/Zz1CaRWp5s
— Ford Australia (@FordAustralia) October 6, 2016
The last car to roll off the line was finished today, and it's a beautiful collector's edition XR6 Sprint in Kinetic Blue. Not only is it a gorgeous car and a lovely piece of engineering, it's also powered by one of the great Australian engines -- the Barra 4.0-litre turbocharged DOHC inline 6 that has powered the XR6 Turbo and Falcon for the last 14 years, with the penultimate FG X Sprint sporting a unique carbon fibre air intake. The Sprint is the fastest car ever produced by Ford in Australia, and the amount of power -- 370kW and 650Nm during overboost, or 325kW/576Nm during regular driving -- it produces is nothing short of world class.
— Ford Australia (@FordAustralia) October 7, 2016
Ford is moving some manufacturing employees and maintaining much of its Australian presence with the continued presence and growth of its vehicle development operations centre in Victoria, with engineers and technology part of a $300 million push this year alone to contribute to global development of platforms like the popular Ranger.