Ford Australia Ends Local Production After 91 Years

Ford has ended Australian production 91 years after the company’s first models were produced down under.

The automaker announced it would stop production at its last remaining factory in Broadmeadows, Victoria, back in 2013. The move doesn’t just mean the end of local production but also marks the farewell of the Falcon, a car built and sold locally for over 50 years.

While Ford will no longer produce cars in Australia, it isn’t leaving the country entirely and will continue to employ about 1,500 employees in its engineering and design departments.

The first Ford built in Australia was the legendary Model T, initially constructed at the Geelong facility in July 1925. The following year, plants were constructed in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and in 1930, in Fremantle as well.

Prior to the arrival of Holden, Ford dominated the local market and in 1959, opened the doors to its Broadmeadows Car Assembly Plant. Since the first vehicle rolled out of this factory on August 20, 1959, precisely 4,356,628 vehicles have been built there.

The final Ford produced in Australia was a bright blue Falcon XR6.

PHOTO GALLERY

  • The Alien Negotiator

    With NO THANKS to UNIONS who bled the company DRY.

    • Knotmyrealname

      As they did with Holden. Short sighted self absorbed mouth breathers.

    • Poison_Eagle

      Shut up. This is not a time for your sickening low-blows. Are you suggesting we should’ve done away with unions so we could compete with Chinese wages? This is not because of unions, this is because of globalisation and Dearborn time and time again refused to integrate Falcon into the global portfolio, despite several efforts by passionate staff here.

      One thing you can thank your right wing friends for is the demise of Holden and Toyota, who had secured $500m and plans to continue until 2022, until the Liberal party came in, used the Productivity Commission to stall Holden then goaded them into leaving during Parliament question time. They aren’t responsible for the downfall of the industry but they certainly drove the last nail in.

      The Murdoch press has drummed up so much hostility and apathy towards the industry. I don’t like where Australia is headed.

      Anyone who blames unions is a dolt. Anyone who says we were ‘propping up’ the industry overlooks the ROI and flowback into the community. Now the LNP will preside over the closure of three car companies, and the supply chain, which I hope the electorate doesn’t forgive them for come 2019.

      • Knotmyrealname

        You sound close to the action. Fair enough, so was I. I used to work there and what I saw and experienced left me in no doubt that it couldn’t continue. Most blue-collar workers there were so blinkered and selfish. They thought the closure would never happen and if it did, then just get as much out of the company as they could. But also, there were a lot of high level decisions that were not only questionable, but worrying. In the end it was the Hyundais and Kias of the world that sealed the deal. No way to compete with the ‘northern neighbours’ who had their own agenda. The thing is, amongst all this, what did the unions mostly push for? More wages. Which for them means more money in their own coffers. They’re as corrupt as anyone else you care to mention, but what puts them at the top of the pile is their own stupidity and short-sightedness. Call me a dolt. Whatever that is.

        • Poison_Eagle

          Actually if you worked there, I can’t profess to know as much about the culture firsthand, but I still wouldn’t say they’re solely responsible for this situation.

          At the end of the day, the first world is not able to compete with the first world. The first Chinese-made Buick being sold in the USA is an ominous sign if you ask me, although the US govt. wouldn’t be so quick to sell their industry down the river as ours was.

          • PB

            knot is right. It goes back a long way to when the Australian industry was coddled by protectionism, in the form of quotas and tariffs on imports. The local makers were given a guaranteed market, so they produced low-quality products because the incentive wasn’t there to improve, and the Unions milked it for all they were worth with constant strikes, go-slows, work bans. When market deregulation started companies started closing up shop and becoming importers (Nissan, Mitsubishi) while Ford and GM survived largely on Government handouts (obtained with a touch of economic blackmail). Holden did a pretty good job for a while developing export markets, but in the end it was a combination of high costs against a small market, and inability to obtain economies of scale that killed the local industry here. The Unions played a very prominent part in the high-cost part.

          • Poison_Eagle

            I think you left a few important bits out. Once the tariff barriers fell down, BOTH companies produced a very durable, quality product.
            Ford US not allowing an LHD Falcon played a bigger role in stifling its future than anything. Once the market fragmented there should’ve been revisions in place but an Australian-owned car maker may have had more flexibility to adapt to this than a US-owned one.

            And those government handouts are standard fare the world over because that investment is returned many times over. Try not to let your anti- unions mindset blind you to other truths.. Not denying your point but anybody who overplays unions as the primary force behind this can’t see the forest for the trees.

          • Knotmyrealname

            Poison, I agree, the companies produced durable products, but I can tell you their market strategy was off course. They continued to chase ‘traditional’ customers who had long since left the big car market. Then, this wonderful durable product was, feature wise, too little too late, and too expensive. It was too expensive because everyone in the chain put their hand out to milk the development and manufacturing gravy boat. Then you have this featureless, expensive (but Aussie) vehicle that customers really have to want in order to buy. It no longer offers anything really over and above any other competitor, and introduced into a saturated market. Regarding RWD, there are plenty of towing vehicles out there. I could go on and on.
            Oh, and regarding unions, I’ve never spoken to a union official who’s main goal is to create a better company and therefore better environment for their members. Their only aim is more benefits and money for their members. More money for the members means more incoming fees for them. Short sighted.

  • TheHake

    How fkkn sad is THIS?

  • mavro

    Sad day. But if you don’t build cars what people want. This happens

    • Michael_66589

      so bad that people want just japanese and european boring small cars. Ford Barra engines were really great.

  • Tumbi Mtika
  • Tumbi Mtika
  • Six Thousand Times

    Sadly, the Aussie public just didn’t buy those big cars like they used to and Australia is just not geographically suited to be a world manufacturing centre. The profits just weren’t there to keep it going.

  • Poison_Eagle

    As an Australian who grew up with, and followed a career into the automotive sector because of the Ford Falcon, this hurts. It would’ve made a great global car. I hope there is some kind of revival one day but I doubt it 🙁 RIP Falcon.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      The nature of business is that it has highs and lows…the lows can be as low as the highs, which 4+ millions cars is nothing to snuff at. The world is changing and business follows change.

  • Vassilis

    Such a shame.

  • smartacus

    shift production to Mexico :p

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