Ford began manufacturing cars in Australia in 1925 with the Model T. In 2016, Ford will stop manufacturing cars Down Under, including the Falcon and the Territory SUV. Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano has reportedly confirmed the closure of the company's Broadmeadows assembly plant and the Geelong engine plant, both in the state of Victoria. There will be 650 jobs lost at Broadmeadows, 510 sacrificed at Geelong. Of the roughly 3,000 workers the Blue Oval has in Australia, it's said it will try to retain about 1,000 of them at its R&D and product development facilities.

The writing hasn't just been on the wall, it's been a regular item in all the papers and on Ford's bottom line for years. As recently as 2003, Ford sold nearly 75,000 Falcons, but over the next four years, annual sales dropped by something like 10,000 units, and over the last two years, it has sold less than 20,000 per year. It isn't only Ford that has suffered – sales of the other large, locally produced sedan, the Holden Commodore, have also gone over the precipice, triggering the same kind of angst about Holden's continued existence. Ford is the smallest of Australia's local automakers, Holden and Toyota the others, and has posted losses of $AUD141 million last year ($136M US) and $AUD600 million ($580M US) in the past five years. Graziano said the cost of manufacturing is simply too expensive in the country, twice as high as Europe and three times as high as Asia, and there no way to make a business case for staying in the country.

In January 2012, Ford Australia announced it would stay in the country until at least 2016, but by July of the same year, most outside observers were quietly declaring that 2016 would be the last year of Ford Down Under, and even the speculation was making other observers nervous. Ford received money from the Victorian government last year to aid its refresh of the Falcon and Territory, which will continue on schedule for the 2014 model year. A front- and all-wheel-drive sedan on a global platform is predicted to replace the Falcon, with some other SUV expected to replace the Territory. The company says it still intends to expand its lineup in the country.

As for what will replace the employment hole at the factories and the supplier base, no one is quite sure. Ford has said that the employees will receive their entitlements, and workers do have three years to prepare for what's coming. As well, the state and national governments have already committed tens of millions to a fund to assist the employees.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      The australian built performance versions of the Falcon are great cars. It would be nice to have a rear wheel/awd performance variant to the Fusion available in North America. Both the turbo inline 6 and V8\'s that are available in these models are potent
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmmm that saddest part is that the Falcon would be discontinued. Part of me wishes they'd pull a GM/Holden/Pontiac and bring the Falcon up here as a four door sports car. Plus it would probably make a better Police Interceptor than the Taurus. Good for everybody. Problem solved.
        • 2 Years Ago
        The saddest part, is the community around Ford for 90 years going away, and hundreds of families finding new lives. The Falcon is an amazing car, but not as important as the people who built it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      One can only hope the next-gen Mustang platform spawns a sedan of some sort... a wagon and a ute wouldn't hurt either...
      • 2 Years Ago
      That car looks nice, the headlight, grill -- bring it here :D
      • 2 Years Ago
      What moron at Ford thought of this.Ford can sell all its products line in Australia and still make a profit. It has nice vehicles they can import here as well. This move will hurt Ford in the future when trying to sell cars and trucks there. If I were Austrailian I would not buy a Ford product after pulling out of the country. Ford better think twice about this move. Not a good idea.
      Speed Racer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dang! I was hoping we'd get a version of the Falcon in the U.S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Speed Racer
        um..."No" and "Chance" that order...
          • 2 Years Ago
          His reply was a softly expletive expression of his acceptance of an unfortunate event. It was not a responsive denial requiring your chiding affirmation of a negative.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford better have a new RWD platform soon.
        • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's too bad, they've done some excellent work over the years. It no doubt has a lot to do with the currency exchange rate. The Aussie dollar is now pretty much on par with the US dollar. Years ago it was much lower.
      Bill Kim
      • 2 Years Ago
      Shame really, especially considering how the Aussie V8 Supercar series is branching out now having just run in Austin, Texas this year. It's always been Blue vs. Red (Ford vs. Holden) for the most part. Hopefully privateers keep up the Blue Oval presence in the series. I've always found the Aussie Falcon a supremely attractive four door. Here's hoping Ford keeps the big, rear drive four door alive in some way, shape or form!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sad to hear. What will Mad Max drive now?
        EXP Jawa
        • 2 Years Ago
        Obviously, he\'ll buy the last of the V8 interceptors...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Right or wrong, if every foreign car purchased is one less domestic car then that brings pressure to local manufacturing...just ask the Brits about their (now nonexistent) car industry. But do you blame Ford for not making cars people want, or the buyer who prefers BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Honda etc etc.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am sure Ford's business plan never thought it would go down under and sales would turn upside down.
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