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Falcon or Territory? Ford faces dilemma over sign-off car

By Damion Smy, 14 Dec 2015 News

Falcon or Territory? Ford faces dilemma over sign-off car

What Australian-made car would you like to see last off the line? Ford doesn’t even know …

THE last Australian-made Ford will roll off the company’s Broadmeadows production line on October 7, 2016, yet Ford Australia is yet to decide what model will officially sign off more than 90 years of manufacturing.

Ford currently builds the Falcon and Territory in Australia, and has confirmed October 7 date as the final day of operations. Which of the two vehicles – and what whether it will be a sedan or a ute if the Falcon is chosen.

“We haven’t decided,” Ford Australia president and chief executive Graeme Whickman said.

“The last unit rolling off the line is going to be an important day for us. It will be a celebration within the organisation.

“Yes, there’ll be people interested externally, but part of the dignified and respectful manner of how we’re transitioning in this country is important to us.”

Ford -Territory -White -Top -SidejpgThe Territory could be the last Australian-produced Ford to roll off Ford's Broadmeadows production line.

Whickman also assured Wheels that supplies of the Falcon XR8, which has seen it outstrip its forecast 1200 total sales, aren’t likely to dry up ahead of the closure. “We’ve worked hard to get all the bits and pieces required – including obviously engines – and my expectation is that we will continue to have a limited supply all the way through,” he said.

Ford isn’t expected to produce a flood of limited edition Falcons that arch-rival Holden is tipped to offer. That’s despite rumours of a high-performance Falcon XR6 Turbo Sprint that’s expected to be powered by the 310kW version of the locally-built 4.0-litre turbo six-cylinder, previously used in the FPV F6. Whickman would not confirm or deny the high-performance XR6 when questioned about it.

The Ford boss was also quick to quash criticism that the company’s locally made products have been performing poorly, with its market share having fallen to 6.1 percent, down from 7.3 percent this time last year.

“We’ve been pleased with our Falcon and our Territory numbers; whilst it may not be publically known, we had a plan – we reset the base last year – and we’re sticking to that plan, and we quietly market to our Falcon fans, and we keep hitting our numbers.”