By on July 17, 2012


Australians are unhappy with Ford. In January, Ford received more than A$34 million ($35 million) from Australian state and federal governments to guarantee local production until 2016. Today, Reuters reports that Ford will cut 440 jobs, or about 15 percent of its Australian workforce.

According to the wire service, Australian car manufacturers had solid sales over the past year, but Ford’s sales have lagged. Ford is cutting production by almost 30 percent in response to the launch of its new Falcon, which landed with a thud.

Australia also is moving away from big bore sedans and towards smaller displacement units.

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11 Comments on “Ford Collects Australian State Aid, Then Fires 15 Percent Of Workforce...”

  • avatar


    Ford said it would cut production from 209 vehicles per day to 148 vehicles per day from November 2012 in a response to changing customer preferences, which have driven an industry-wide decline in the sale of large vehicles.

    Ford’s market share slipped to fifth place, or 7.9 percent, for the year to June, compared with 9.1 percent a year earlier, according to the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

    Australian car makers have also lost market share as sales of imports have surged, aided by the strong Australian dollar. In April, Toyota Motor Corp cut 350 jobs from its manufacturing plant in Melbourne.

    (It would seem Ford is matching production and production costs to customer demand.)

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Australia is moving toward smaller cars as you mentioned and SUVs, lots of them. But even so, the large car market is still relevant here.

    If my memory doesn’t fails me, Ford has slipped from 3rd to 5th in the market ranking. This year. They have the new (hot) Ranger, the revised Falcon, ECOLPi Falcon and even an EcoBoost version, all highly acclaimed by the media.

    But I guess you can’t sell a product you barely advertise. Save for Territory, Focus or Fiesta, I don’t see many ads from Ford. Toyota even has cars with lettering doing the rounds in the city to promote both Camry and Aurion.

    Definitely, not a happy day today.

    Linky,, hopefully it will work

    • 0 avatar

      so sad that gas is causing the sweet V8 RWD sedans in Australia to start to decline.

      I’ve always held out that if life got bad enough I’d move there and hoon until they took my car away

  • avatar

    That is easy to explain: The Ford Falcon which is the bread and butter or Ford Oz is getting old. Based on a 20 year old platform it simply is no longer competitive and sales reflect that. Ford needs to either modernize the platform or abandon the RWD family sedan market.

    • 0 avatar
      XYGTHO Phase3

      That’s crap – anyone who has driven any of the big Aussie cars knows that the Falcon is more than up to the task of competing against the Commodore.
      From what I see, there are 2 main problems for Ford Australia.
      One is that their advertising/marketing is crap. They’ve just released the most fuel-efficient Falcon ever, and where are the ads? Why aren’t they out there shoving their cars down our throats like Holden and Toyota do? Who cares if you don’t actually have anything new to advertise – I remember Toyota years ago advertisting their “O2 advantage” like they were the only make to use oxygen in their cars…
      Secondly, and this is probably more a sign of why Holden hasn’t been as affected as Ford, is that Ford here is seen by a lot of people as an American company, and Holden as the Australian make. Holden can slap their badge on pretty much anything over here and it’ll sell – Barina Spark anyone?
      But having said all that, large cars are a dying breed here – most people are moving to mid-sized (Mazda6 etc) or smaller, or buy a 4WD (LandCruiser etc) it they need to tow. Ford should have made the Focus here to at least prop up local manufacturing.

  • avatar

    Ford Australia has abandoned its plan to develop the left-hand-drive version for the overseas market such as Middle East where Holden has enjoyed the sales success under Chevrolet label. The export drive could have probably given Holden’s large family car programme the stay of execution bit longer.

    Will Ford Australia revisit the plan now that the production of Panther (Crown Victoria and Town Car) ended sometimes ago? Stay tuned…

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    The falcon is crappy old pile which barely sold at all. The First AU designs in the late 90’s were so ugly the only buyers were fleet and government departments who now buy Prius etc etc .
    But the real kicker is that Ford has simply robbed the tax payer yet again thank to incompetant governments. GM and Mitsubishi have done exactly the same thing many times before in OZ. Gone cap in hand,cringing to the government, got a few million on some pretext or other and run off chuckling.
    The real reason these companies need this money is because of Australia’s carbon tax . Introduced in July to slow consumption (yes, that right!) and thus save the planet it will increase every year for the next few years. Imagine running a manufacturing plant when you know you power costs will rise annually through taxation and your product demand is dropping?
    “Time to pull out” is the first thought that would come to your mind isn’t it?

  • avatar

    Far from “Crappy” , the Falcon suffers from the current preoccupation with SUV’s and Pickups in Australia. The best selling”car” is the Toyota Hilux If Ford US had more foresight, the Falcon and its extended wheelbase variant, could have become the basis of Lincoln a brand that is probably on “deathwatch” in the US.

  • avatar

    One factor is years of speculation on the possible death of the Falcon is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, sales drop followed by negative media, followed by buyers avoiding the car because they don’t want an orphan. Something else that isn’t often noted is the poor resale value as a result of decades of high fleet sales.

    The car is currently set to run through to 2016, but its future beyond that time is uncertain – 4 years out they surely have made the decision of which road to take, and no news is not good news on that front.

    The 1998 AU model Falcon was the local equivalent of the oval 3rd gen Taurus, something that should not have gotten all the way through the development process.

    Ford need to put another product into the factory as Holden has done, as having the associated production line is a key attribute for the design department, which is doing increasingly more work for other markets.

  • avatar
    Robert Gordon

    “Australia also is moving away from big bore sedans and towards smaller displacement units.”

    At 92.26 mm the Ford Falcon’s bore is not especially large. Nor is the Commodore’s at 89mm.

    Perhaps it is worth noting for your future articles that ‘bore’ and ‘displacement’ are not synonymous.

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