Ford Australia Freaked by FoMoCo's US RWD Platform Plans

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
ford australia freaked by fomoco s us rwd platform plans

"Uh oh." That's the unofficial line out of Ford Australia today in response to FoMoCo's announcement that they're developing a rear wheel-drive (RWD) platform in America. Officially, the Australians have responded with " it's too early to speculate." Ford OZ already has a RWD platform underpinning the Falcon. Thanks to a lack of engineering foresight (i.e. international beancounting), the Falcon can't be built as a left hand drive car for the U.S. market. Since the dollar is weak and engineers plentiful, Ford chose to keep the new platform's development stateside. The Australians are hitting the Pepto-Bismol over [entirely justifiable] concerns that all of Ford's RWD operations would be relocated to the U.S., denying the Blue Oval's Australian subsidiary a chance to design the next Falcon– or much of anything else, really. Roughly a thousand engineers' jobs are at stake.

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Mar 26, 2008

    I thought that Ford was committed to World Platforms ever since the massive "Ford 2000" reorganization program of the 1990s. Having Australia-only engine and platform designs is simply stupid as it isn't that large of a market. I guess that the stories of endless turf wars amongst the various pieces of the Ford Kingdom have some real truth to them. Ford has a great deal of RWD engineering and production expertise in the US. Between the trucks, SUVS, Mustang and Panther platform the vast majority of Ford's North American production is in fact RWD. The recently departed Lincoln LS was on a relatively modern RWD platform which was shared with Jaguar. Why the Mustang and LS/Jag are on different platforms is a mystery as well.

  • Hansbos Hansbos on Mar 26, 2008

    I don't know what everyone sees in these falcons. I sat in the backseat of one a couple of times in its taxi form in New Zealand and was not impressed at all. The interior and the whole feel of the car felt like a 1990s Opel.

  • TriShield TriShield on Mar 26, 2008

    The Falcons they use as taxis and the XR and luxury models sold to the public are almost entirely different animals. When I was in Sydney a couple of years ago the base Falcon was a common taxi there. The XR6T I drove at City Ford was a generation newer and a superb car in every respect, even the interior was nicely trimmed and laid out. Yes, Ford has RWD expertise in the US but aside from the Ford GT it has never yielded anything mainstream that comes close to rivaling the Falcon in any respect. Australia produces much better American style cars than America does.

  • JPD80 JPD80 on Mar 30, 2008

    Justin, I don't know where you get your info from but a few things need to be set straight for the record: 1. The FG Falcon is left hand drive preserved, which means all the hard work in re routing fixtures for LHD is done. Apart from a dash module which includes wipers, steering, HVAC and Human machine interface, everything is pretty much there. 2. Far from being Freaked out, Ford Australia are laughing their asses off about this article. See, they've already started GRWD. keep the accurate reports coming.