Tag Archive | "Australia"

Death Of A Falcon


Whilst the idea of ‘world’ cars makes a lot of economic sense it was only going to be a matter of time before it had an adverse effect somewhere. This time it is Australia and the end of Ford production on that continent.

The backbone of Australian motor sport has got to be the V8 Supercar Championship which is a sort of ultra-butch touring car circus. Originally only for Aussie built Ford Falcons and Holden (GM) Commodores, it has in recent years introduced other makes but it is the two indigenous brands that Australian race fans have taken to their hearts. Supporters are dyed-in-the-wool Falcon or Commodore devotees. There can be no middle ground. Blows are often exchanged.

Now all that is going to change. The Ford Motor Company has outlined its strategy for shutting down production completely. This means an end to the Falcon name as this will be retired along with the Melbourne factories. It brings to an end ninety years of production and signals the loss of some 1200 jobs by the time production stops in 2016. For Australians it is the end of an era.

It can’t be said that Ford haven’t tried, to be fair. They have reviewed and restructured their business and curtailed production but it hasn’t worked, despite huge subsidies from Government. Curiously, the locally built cars have consistently lost money whilst imported Fords make a profit. In April the company recorded their lowest sales of just 717 Falcon products. Holden sold twice that many. Very few cars get exported.FAL2 Death Of A Falcon

A strong Australian Dollar has meant that imports have become more attractive to buyers as home production costs have risen exponentially. At the end of the day it’s just business. Australia has annual sales of around a million vehicles but this is made up from sixty five brands and some 365 models. This has made the country one of the most crowded and competitive markets in the world. Something had to give. It’s just a shame it had to be this venerable local product.

It is not yet guaranteed but Aussie muscle car fans may have to settle for the new and ‘global’ Ford Mustang, expected in 2015 but, as many supporters are already saying, it won’t be the same. No doubt there will be a run on the final production cars as Falcon aficionados strive to keep the name going. One good thing is that second hand Falcon values are sure to rise as they become part of Australia’s automotive history.

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