A sad day for both Ford and Australia. The Blue Oval has officially announced an end to building cars in Australia, which Ford has done since the 1920s.
Both the Broadmeadows assembly plant and the Geelong engine plant will close in 2016, resulting in a loss of 1200 jobs. Declining sales of the Ford Falcon, and the expense of retooling Geelong to build engines that are complaint with Euro 5 emissions standards. Ford’s One Ford strategy, which seeks to eliminate regional specific models like the Falcon, also hastened the demise of Ford’s Australian manufacturing operations.
A rising Australian dollar has also been identified as a culprit, but Holden and Toyota are expected to continue their manufacturing operations in Australia despite this. Holden has even committed to a new generation of Commodore beyond the yet to be introduced VF – though it may not follow the traditional rear-drive Aussie sedan template, as smaller, more fuel-efficient cars have become popular in Australia.
Either way, Ford’s Australian operations have been on shaky ground for some time. Today is only a confirmation of what many thought was inevitable.