WHAT NOW FOR FORD IN AUSTRALIA NOW THE FACTORIES ARE CLOSING?
There’s some confusion about Ford’s future in Australia. While the end of Australian production is unfortunate, the good news is the Blue Oval will remain a fixture on Australian roads.
Australia will also continue to be a product development hub for Ford meaning that while cars will no longer be built in Melbourne they will be designed and developed there – as was the case with the Ford Ranger upgrade and Everest SUV.
WILL AUSTRALIANS WANT TO BUY FORDS IF THEY’RE NOT BUILT HERE?
They already are. The Ford Ranger was the third highest selling vehicle in Australia in September after the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla. The Focus and Mustang also outsold the Falcon and Territory last month.
A good comparison to Ford’s current situation is Mitsubishi, which ceased Australian production in 2008 but maintained its market share through its popular overseas models such as the Outlander, Pajero and Lancer.
WHAT WILL REPLACE THE FALCON AND TERRITORY?
Despite the long lead up time, Ford doesn’t have any showroom ready cars similar enough to the Falcon or Territory to be considered direct replacements.
The new Ford Taurus was muted as a Falcon replacement but it’s more likely to be the Mondeo, which, despite being a smaller car, has similar interior space. Whatever it is, don’t expect a big rear-wheel drive family car like we’ve become accustomed to.
Meanwhile, we won’t see the Territory replacement, the Edge, until early 2018. This will probably leave a bigger hole than Falcon considering how buyers are moving away from big cars to SUVs.
IS THERE ANY RISK IN BUYING A NEW FALCON OR TERRITORY NOW THE FACTORIES ARE CLOSING?
No more than buying any other discontinued model. Ford will still provide servicing and warranty back up and the company has ensured there will be a “decade’s worth of spare parts” including panels. If anything, it might be soon a good time to score a bargain on a piece of history.
IS FORD DOING ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MARK THE END OF FALCON PRODUCTION AFTER 56 YEARS?
Nope. It seems Ford has moved on well before the rest of us. There will be no events or special edition cars to commemorate the last Falcon despite its icon status. The company says there will just be a private function for staff affected by the closure.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE LAST FALCONS AND TERRITORIES TO COME OFF THE PRODUCTION LINE?
Ford is keeping the final Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory, all of which will be fitted with a compliance plate without the Government authority number which will render them un-registrable. They will initially be displayed at events before being loaned to museums in Victoria.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to bid for the final saleable Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory on an online auction which is running until October 15.