Powered by
  • WheelsWheels
  • 4X4 Australia4X4 Australia
  • Street MachineStreet Machine
  • Trade Unique CarsTrade Unique Cars

Ford Australia timeline

23 May 2013 Industry

Ford Australia timeline

Wheels looks back at the history of Ford Motor Company in Australia.

A timeline of Ford's time in Australia.


1925 – Ford Motor Company of Australia incorporated – amalgamating distribution from state-based agents. Manufacture of Model T and Fordson tractors begins at temporary premises in Geelong, Victoria.

1926 – Major manufacturing plants built in Geelong, Brisbane and Adelaide.

1929 – Freemantle assembly plant opens in Western Australia.

1934 – The world’s first coupe-utility model – designed by Australian Lew Bandt – begins production.

1936 – Homebush assembly plant opens in Sydney.

1952 – V8 Customline sedan and Australian-designed Mainline utility released, along with smaller, six-cylinder Zephyr and Zephyr utility.

1954 – Geelong factory receives half-million-dollar overhaul with new stamping presses.

1955 – Overhead-valve V8 introduced in Customline and Mainline.

1958 – Construction begins on Broadmeadows assembly plant in outer Melbourne. Engine plant upgraded in Geelong.

Ford Australia

1959 – Broadmeadows plant opens in August. First car produced is a ‘Tank’ Fairlane.

1960 – First six-cylinder Falcon engine is completed on April 29 in Geelong. First fully-built XK Falcon leaves the Broadmeadows production line on June 28.

1961 – Manufacturing capacity is increased from 50,000 to 90,000 vehicles per year. Falcon utility and panel van added to range.

1962 – XL Falcon and first Cortina launched. Total Falcon production reaches 100,000.

1964 – New $2 million head office opens at Broadmeadows. XM Falcon launches with new two-door Hardtop.

1965 – You Yangs proving ground opens at Lara, Victoria. 70,000-mile Durability Run demonstrates the toughness of the re-engineered XP Falcon. XP wins WHEELS Car of the Year award.

1966 – XR Falcon range released with optional V8 engine. Falcon wins WHEELS Car of the Year award for the second year running. Brisbane plant receives $2 million upgrade.

1967 – Australia’s first muscle car – the XR Falcon GT – introduced, along with long-wheelbase ZA Fairlane. XR GT wins Bathurst 500. One-millionth Australian-built Ford produced.

1969 – XW Falcon introduces legendary HO (Handling Option) package for the GT.

1970 – CKD (Completely Knocked Down) exports hit 30,000. XY Falcon released as Ford announces $45 million expansion. Escort begins production.

1971 – XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III introduced to win Bathurst – fills all podium positions. Truck assembly plant opens in Broadmeadows.

1972 – First all-Australian Falcon introduced (the XA), along with Aussie-designed two-door Hardtop.

1974 – Ford Asia-Pacific regional office opens in Melbourne.

1975 – Ford Louisville truck begins local assembly in right-hand drive.

1976 – $72 million investment in new product and facilities announced.

1977 – Plastics plant expanded. Ford achieves famous one-two at Bathurst.

1979 – New-generation XD Falcon – first mass-produced vehicle in the world with a plastic fuel tank.

1980 – $300 million investment program includes Alloy Head engines for Falcon. Homebush plant gets $13 million upgrade to prepare for Laser.

1981 – Locally-built Laser enters production at Homebush. Becomes an immediate best-seller.

1982 – Ford achieves market leadership at Holden’s expense. XE Falcon is our best-selling car.

1983 – $70 million four-cylinder engine plant built in Geelong, but Ford drops the Falcon V8.

1984 – XF Falcon helps Ford achieve top spot in passenger and overall vehicle sales.

1985 – Ford Australia sells a record 170,811 units. Broadmeadows gets new paint facility.

1988 – All-new EA Falcon launched.

1989 – Ford is market leader in sales for the ninth consecutive year.

1990 – Aussie-designed Capri convertible is exported to the US badged as a Mercury.

1991 – The V8 is revived in the EB Falcon. Capri exports pass 30,000.

Ford Australia

1993 – ED Falcon is Australia’s best-selling car.

1994 – Homebush assembly plant in Sydney closes – Laser now fully-imported from Japan. Capri production ceases.

1995 – Ford is number one in passenger and overall sales. EF Falcon is Australia’s best-selling car.

1996 – Falcon exports resume to South Africa.

1998 – All-new AU Falcon launched. Brisbane assembly plant closes.

1999 – Ford Tickford Experience (FTE) models introduced as a rival to Holdden Special vehicles (HSV).

2002 – Heavily re-engineered BA Falcon launched – first Falcon to win WHEELS Car of the Year since 1966.

2003 – BA Falcon sales reach 73,220. Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) replaces FTE.

2004 – Australia’s first home-grown SUV – the Territory – is released and wins WHEELS Car of the Year award.

2005 – BF Falcon is released.

2008 – Fairlane and LTD production ceases. New-generation FG Falcon is released and sells 31,936 units. Ford announces $21 million investment at Geelong engine plant, stating 4.0-litre in-line six will continue in production at beyond 2010.

Ford Australia

2011 – FG Falcon sales slip to 18,741.

2012 – Four-cylinder, turbocharged Falcon Ecoboost introduced.

2013 – Ford Australia announces it will cease local manufacture in October 2016.

*Source material: True Blue - 75 Years of Ford in Australia, Bill Tuckey