Even though Ford honcho Alan Mulally was seriously smitten by the company's Aussie Falcon G-Series, doubts about the car's future were presaged nearly a year-and-a-half ago as Ford built momentum behind the "One Ford" program. That initiative focused on the rationalization of platforms, so multiplel vehicles sold around the world could share underpinnings and save the Blue Oval some bucks. But with new fuel mileage requirements, the fate of the rear-wheel drive Falcon began to grow dark.
Things weren't helped at the Detroit Auto Show, were Mulally said "The best thing for Ford is to bring our scale and volume" to bear on the market and the balance sheet, and that manufacturers engaged in the complexities of different platforms for different markets, "can't compete with the global companies, and Ford's going to be a powerhouse globally."
The front-wheel drive Taurus platform is the one being mooted as the foundation of the next Falcon, and the idea of a FWD Falcon is practically Galilean heresy to Aussie enthusiasts. The popular sedan's redesign doesn't begin until next year in view of a 2014 market date so Mulally has a year to make a decision – and Aussies have a year to sway him. If the next Falcon is FWD, a compensation prize could be the Australian division helping to engineer the Mustang platform. Thanks to everyone for the tips!