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Ford Australia won’t guarantee a halt to sliding Falcon sales in 2012 despite the introduction next year of a model range update and a new, more fuel efficient four-cylinder engine.

This year will go down as one of the worst in the Falcon’s 51-year history. After four consistent sales years between 2007 and 2010 where the Falcon – despite losing ground each year – remained between 33,941 and 29,516 units, this year it is on track to plummet by around 10,000 sales, falling below 20,000 units for the first time in recent history.

The year-on-year decline is the Falcon’s worst result since 2005-2006 when sales fell from 53,080 to 42,390 – although this year’s drop, likely to be in the region of 35 per cent, is far worse in terms of percentages. The glory days of 2003, when the Falcon achieved its best ever yearly sales result of 73,220 vehicles, is now a very distant memory.

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano is upbeat about the coming 12 months, but stopped short of guaranteeing annual Falcon sales would increase for the first time since 2003. “We now have the freshening out, we will have EcoBoost out early next year along with EcoLPi, so I’m looking for a good year in 2012,” he said.

Graziano attributes the disappointing 2011 result to three factors: the lack of an LPG-powered car for the majority of the year (production of the previous model ended in September 2010, while the replacement EcoLPi started rolling out in July 2011), the lack of a Falcon wagon (production ended in June 2010), and the decline of the large-car segment. Ford also stopped building the XR8 in January 2010.

Ford is already starting to take care of the first one. In its first two months on sale, the brand’s new EcoLPi LPG system accounted for around 17 per cent of Falcon and Falcon Ute sales, pushing back towards the 20-25 per cent share enjoyed by the old gas models.

The Falcon wagon isn’t coming back, but a strong year from the Territory – buoyed by the launch of the heavily revised SZ model and the diesel engine – has helped offset some of the losses. Ford Australia is on track to deliver around 12,900 for the year, which would be the medium SUVs best result since 2007.

The third problem is undoubtedly the biggest one, although the decline of the large-car segment is exacerbated by the poor performance of the Falcon. The large segment has fallen 21.1 per cent this year. The Falcon has fallen 37.0 per cent this year, while the Holden Commodore is down just 10.4 per cent. If you remove the Falcon, the large-car segment is down just 13.6 per cent, which means the Falcon has actually performed almost three times worse than the average large car this year.

Graziano says the Falcon’s performance in 2012 will largely be dictated by the direction of the market, but remains optimistic with the launch of the cheaper, better equipped FG MkII range, and, crucially, the addition of the EcoBoost engine to the line-up early next year. “It’s really going to be dependent on whether the market segment continues to decline … but I really feel that we’ve got a strong opportunity to continue to grow on the successes that we’ve had this year with all the new technologies that we’ve got.

“There isn’t one single thing that you’ll look at and say, ‘that’s what’s going to restore Falcon volumes to where they used to be’. I think it’s a combination of everything we have to offer as people begin to realise that the Falcon brand is not only an iconic brand but it’s got absolutely outstanding technologies and terrific driving dynamics that I think Australia consumers appreciate when they get behind the wheel.”

Production of the FG MkII has already begun and vehicles will arrive in showrooms later this month and early in January, while the Falcon EcoBoost – to be available in XT, G6 and G6E variants – will go on sale early in the second quarter of 2012. With a fresh and diverse product offering, there should be few excuses for the Falcon to perform in 2012.




  • GM

    Well the Ford boss has admitted it.. now all they have to do is get the Ford fans to admit it.

    • Arabian

      You know somthing Ford Australia is behind simple as that. They have always been behind everyone else. The falcon dosnt have direct injection, nor does it have led styled lighting , nor daytime led lighting at the front. It has an ageing drivetrain dating back to the BA. If you look at it very closely it still has some of the ugly contours of the AU falcon. Your paying 32k for the base model which I wouldnt be over exaggerating has the least amount of features then Any other car on the market for 32k. They should add an aggressive front and rear end like the BMW 5 series, glass roof ,increase the engine displacement to a 4.2L quad cam 36 valve for alot more power, add cylinder shutdown control to keep on top of fuel consumption. That’s just a bit I can think of which is holding sales back, also marketing and add an AWD model would be be good

      • speedy G

        adding a AWD model doesnt always save a car, just think of the AWD Mitsubishi Magna !

        • Thrillhouse

          Or the HSV Coupe4. A classic case of something being far, far less than the sum of its parts.

  • Dangel

    Both the falcon and the commerdor are on the slippery slope down , one might survive , this sector will never dominate carsales again .

  • Davo

    No answer to the XR8 question? Will it make a return…

  • Robbo

    How is it that every article written about it is all about poor numbers in large car segment and lack of LPG and wagon? Sure that is understandable, but does anyone want to talk about why? Just like the demise of the Magna/380, no-one wants them anymore, so resale is poor, plus the quality (just like Commodore before you bash me about how good your FG is) isn’t that great, and the price of one new compared to Mazda 3′s and other medium cars that have grown in size is certainly a hurt ($40k for a XT is too much compared to a $30k 3 that holds value better too). I’m not having a go at anyone, but we’ve seen this happen before and it’s as if the press are scared to state the truth.

    Thoughts?

    • nickdl

      Well for a start I don’t think that anyone has ever paid $40K for an XT. I could probably get a 2011 XT brand new today for about $31K driveaway.

      I think the problem is that the Falcon and Commodore are now pushing 5m long. If people want a car of that size in the city then they usually want it to be able to seat more than five people and have a large boot. That’s why the Sportwagon and the Territory are both doing so well.

      Economy in the Falcon and Commodore really isn’t that bad compared to an auto Mazda 3. The petrol Commodore should only cost about $150 extra per year than a 3 to fuel while the LPG Falcon is a lot cheaper than the 3 to fill up.

  • BossXR8

    Needs a wagon yesterday, a full range from XT, XR to G6e with 5 star safety, EcoLPI option would sell a 1000 a month. Heck the ancient 10 year old BFIII Falcon XT wagon was selling 400 a month.

    • nickdl

      Check the other news article, all Falcons have 5 star safety. In fact, they have since the launch of the original FG in 2008.

      • Harold

        He is referring to the BFIII wagon which had only 4 star safety. If a FG wagon came out it would be 5 star and get even more sales. Even though the BFIII XT wagon was already outselling the FG XT sedan 3 to 1!! Falcon will die without a wagon.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2011/02/2012-nissan-nv-first-drive---01-opt.jpg David

    Huh? 2003 was NOT Falcon’s best ever sales year. 1995 was, when it sold 81,366.

    • Phil

      Pretty much every year in the 1980s they were selling about 100,000.

  • davie

    “Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano is upbeat about the coming 12 months”

    Thanks CarAdvice. Its always good to know who the present Ford Aus CEO is. They change so often its hard to keep up.

    • gibbut@hotmail.com

      marin burela was upbeat once too

      • davie

        That American CEO who lasted about 3 seconds before getting “homesick” was probably upbeat – who knows?

  • Alex

    Ford need to drop the Falcon or simply import it for small volumes.

    The Local engineering should be poured into the excellent Territory Range only.

    It’s already agreed to be a class leading design, but it’s already out dated despite it’s impressive current offerings. It too will fall the way of Falcon if it isn’t kept fresh and relevant.

    Imagine proper line up of 2WD and AWD Territory with engine choices of Ecoboost 4, Ecolpi 6, Turbo 6 petrol, TD V6, V8 and Supercharged V8. Even FPV could do one.

    Make it like the BMW X5 and have a huge range, the design and pricing is perfect for Australia, but with Falcon sucking up development time and money it will just end up underdone and behind the competition.

    • Phil

      But the Territory range is selling in about the same numbers as Falcon at the moment?
      Plus Territory sales will drop as the ‘wow’ factor of the new model dies off. Territory sales during the final months of the last model were terrible!

      • Hung Low

        It was still better than the all new Tiguan at that time, why is that Phil?

        • Phil

          Tiguan sells way more than Territory globally plus in (Australia at least) they generally sell for full price plus on road costs, unlike Territory where Ford gives $000s off and gives you free on road costs.
          In the weekend papers, Ford dealers are already advertising the new Territory with $3000 off RRP and free on roads.
          Also – as is ther case with all the Australian made cars, ford needs big government handouts to keep the local production afloat.

  • Seano

    How about advertise the Ecolpi, people buy small cars coz they are cheaper to run. If every night there were adds saying costs the same as a 3 or i30 to run it would sell like crazy. Only car blog nerds like me know at the moment!!!

    • kratos

      Bingo.

    • Reckless1

      No one in their right mind would buy a Falcon over the 3 or the i30, and the sales results prove it.

      You still get a heavy old style barge no matter what engine you put in, and throw in poor resale value and it wiould never be cheaper to own than the small cars.

  • F1MotoGP

    What Falcon and Commodore need a diesel engine just like Honda!

    • LN

      That does have merit. If Ford and Holden are serious about keeping the sales up for their falcon and commodore and sell to the fleet market, diesal is the way to go, not E85 (only a few are selling them) and go LPG.

  • JEKYL & HYDE

    you really should of built the focus here ford.time to fall on your sword(local production at least)…

  • Moe

    If anything blame Fords crappy marketing team, i dont remember the last time I seen a Ford Commercial on TV right now I can playback about 3 Holden commercials in my head. Does that say anything for your crappy sales

    • gibbut@hotmail.com

      fords models that actually sell are advertised on tv…

      territory facbook add… like it or hate it… new terrys are everywhere!!!

      fiesta , we can drive over bridges add…. fiestas are everywhere too….

      see that ford??? do ya???

    • Phil

      Do you really think anyone looking for a cheap, large sedan won’t know Falcon exists?

      As it happens there are adds for Falcon running on this page as I type – “FALCON XR6 LIMITED EDITION $34,990 DRIVEAWAY” .

  • JoKiDe

    What Ford and Holden need to do is understand that the days of wanting to own a big sipping 6 or 8 cylinder have gone, keep them in the line up for the people who really want one but its time to look seriously at either smaller capacity 6 cylinders or larger capacity 4 cylinders.

    If Holden were smart they would develop a 2.5L V6 and use there ITI technology on it, a 160 or 170kw smaller vs that drinks around 7.0L/100km.

    And as for Ford, hasn’t time and lack of sales taught you anything, that archaeic 4.0L L6 engine just doesn’t cut it anymore, why not invest the money now and do the same, a smaller charged 6 would be very attractive.

    I for one will never buy one of these again, they are unrealiable, over priced and just well and truly passed their used by dates!!!

    • davie

      I remember when Ford were developing the 3.7L alloy V6 for use in the falcon.

      That was canned a few years ago, in an obvious sign that Ford was not going to spend any more money on future falcon development.

      Mysterious “I6 lovers” came out of the woodwork and celebrated on this very web site.

      Yes, the inline 6 has been an amazing engine and the F6 Turbo is probably as good as it will ever get. But other than a bit of history, the Falcon I6 has had its day. Its too heavy, hangs over and partly in front of the front axle and upsets the cars weight distribution.

    • Matty B

      Really curious how you can say the I6 is unreliable ? I’m sure there’s people out there who have experienced issues, (I don’t care who makes what, someone, somewhere got a dud) but they’re generally looked upon as one of the most reliable engines going round. Why do you think 90% of cabs are falcons.

  • laurie

    The car that can help Ford increase sales is the Mondeo.My Mondeo MA has not given me one reason to trade up and Ford keeps giving me no reason.But I will be at the dealer door tomorrow if they throw in the 2.2L diesel engine with the ZF auto,sat nav,dvd,etc that people in Europe & UK are able to get gee Ford you know how to screw cars up and you get paid to do it grrrr

  • Lorenzo

    Bob forgot the 4th factor and probably the most appparent – the FG looked like too similar to the outgoing model. Why fork out money on an old looking new car??

  • DeJaVu

    How are you meant to sell things if awareness isn’t there to create demand?

    As Moe said, the fault isn’t as much with industry as it is with marketing. The FG Falcons are some of the best sedans in the world, backed by the poorest advertising (or lack thereof).

    I remember ‘Go Better’. But the only thing i can vaguely remember from Ford is a pair of dancing fingers.

    • Phil

      Do you really think anyone looking for a cheap, large sedan won’t know Falcon exists?

      As it happens there are adds for Falcon running on this page as I type – “FALCON XR6 LIMITED EDITION $34,990 DRIVEAWAY”.

  • Chris

    marketing has got nothing to do with it, product is what it is all about. The buying public know more than you think and will research products and price before anything else

  • Stu

    I don’t like the fussy look on the front of the updated Falcon, this is definitely a backwards step.
    about time Ford bit the bullet with this car and replaced it with something from this century.
    resale values are tanking on the used car market.

  • realcars

    ECOlpi The dynamics,safety style,comfort of a Falcon which is on par with large Euros like BMW, Audi and Benz with running cost of a Getz. Shame most people won’t recognise the value represented here.

  • realcars

    Stu, drive the latest Falcon then get back to us.Maybe back to back with a Camry.LOL

  • realcars

    xr6 ecolpi.Wow.

    Just drive a Falcon.Jap front drives don’t compare.

  • save it for the track

    Ford marketing and brass seem to have very little idea of how to sell cars in Aus. They threw out nameplates that had been around for years (Fairmont, Fairmont Ghia), and replaced with meaningless G6, G6E variants. That’s just the start. The problems with Ford and Holden is that they are owned by US companies that are often held to ransom by their workforce. Both Commodore and especially Falcon are the best examples of RWD platforms in their respective companies, yet the US bosses stifle or totally ignore (Falcon) not only the performance, and value of the Australian offerings, but the potential sales of both in the US and elsewhere. Then of course Ford misread the market again by not building Focus here, and indeed have poorly promoted a vehicle that has been the small-medium benchmark (or close to) for pretty much its entire model life. How about they put some of the voice technology and the rest that are in Mondeo and Focus into Falcon? Ecoboost Falcon at about 1500kg with the Mondeo titanium tech in it, and while they’re at it a 5 year unlimited km warranty. I’d buy that.

  • VW

    The only way they can stop the slide is to kill the Falcon. They should just put it out of its misery. The days of people buying a Falcon over something like a Golf are over. Its efficiency over effectiveness.

    • Blue Soup

      people are gonna buy a golf over every car in the world according to you VW. Your narrowminded views make me laugh,

  • robj

    I’m ready to order an XR8 or G8 with the new 5.0 V8. Where is it?

  • Arabian

    Ford Australia is behind simple as that. They have always been behind everyone else. The falcon dosnt have direct injection, nor does it have led styled lighting , nor daytime led lighting at the front. It has an ageing drivetrain dating back to the BA. If you look at it very closely it still has some of the ugly contours of the AU falcon. Your paying 32k for the base model which I wouldnt be over exaggerating has the least amount of features then Any other car on the market for 32k. They should add an aggressive front and rear end like the BMW 5 series, glass roof ,increase the engine displacement to a 4.2L quad cam 36 valve for alot more power, add cylinder shutdown control to keep on top of fuel consumption. That’s just a bit I can think of which is holding sales back

    • nickdl

      I’m sorry, but why would an inline six need six valves per cylinder and four camshafts? Neither that, nor direct injection would do anything really to improve fuel efficiency and boring out the cylinders would only be worse for consumption.

      People seem to forget the fact that a 5 series starts at $85K+ whereas a Falcon can be had for $32K. I can’t see any ugly AU contours from the AU and the ‘BA’ drivetrain is still today one of the best on the market, and especially well suited for our conditions. Oh and by the way, the G6E models now have daytime LEDs at the front.

      Even though all of your suggestions are so well thought out and intelligent, I’d suggest Ford Aus to look at the glass roof. I’m certain that an inclusion of such a feature would add another 1500 sales per month immediately….

  • Arabian

    Ford Australia is behind simple as that. They have always been behind everyone else. The falcon dosnt have direct injection, nor does it have led styled lighting , nor daytime led lighting at the front. It has an ageing drivetrain dating back to the BA. If you look at it very closely it still has some of the ugly contours of the AU falcon. Your paying 32k for the base model which I wouldnt be over exaggerating has the least amount of features then Any other car on the market for 32k. They should add an aggressive front and rear end like the BMW 5 series, glass roof ,increase the engine displacement to a 4.2L quad cam 36 valve for alot more power, add cylinder shutdown control to keep on top of fuel consumption. That’s just a bit I can think of which is holding sales back

    • Phil

      Ummm Arabian….The “Ugly” Au Falcon was far more popular than than the FG Falcon.

      Why on earth would anyone want a Glass roof in the hot Australian sun?

      Whats the point of increasing engine size from 4.0 to 4.2?

      • Mike

        I see more AU falcon’s on the road all the time, they are cheap, tough as guts, reliable, great fit and finish.

        They all also aged better than the VT model of the day, which looks older and comes from about 1992 style wise.

  • Gordon

    Well I purchased an XR6 LE last month and couldn’t be happier. Great features for the $$ ( $36000 Drive away). I traded my 5 year old Mazda 6. I was going to buy another Mazda, but don’t like the new model. I only test drove the Ford after seeing an online ad. I didn’t have high expectations, having owned an AU Falcon previously, but Ive got to say, having driven the FG XR6, I was hooked. You get a lot of car for the money. Shame Ford doesn’t advertise this fact.

    I challenge anyone to at least try the FG XR6 when looking at a new car

    • Phil

      So you say you bought it after seeing an online ad.

      Then you say Ford doesn’t advertise?

      • Hung Low

        Phil, to settle some of your misconceptions, please go and drive a $34990 XR6, you will be surprised at how well they drive, handle, ride and the nvh and comfort levels are outstanding at this price point!

        • Phil

          Whats that got to do with the advertising?

          I’ve driven a XR6. It went fine, but the fuel economy is terrible, the resale is shocking, sedan only body is impractical and if you want to buy a used one its almost impossible to find a manual (as is the demographic of those who buy Falcons).

  • DeskDreaming

    To my mind Ford Oz seems to have finally have the pieces of the puzzle they need to keep the doors in Broadmeadows and Geelong open.

    They have retained a local model that, is still selling and made it more efficient and plugged into Ford Global Tech development.

    The uncomfortable truth is that no one understands how to make cars for Australia like Australians. To that end I would use the Ranger/Territory as my evidence.

    IF eco-lpi, eco boost and a genuinely complete (albeit partially imported) model range allow ford to have a more meaningful slice of the local sales pie, i do not think anyone should decry that – regardless of how one eyed your ‘brand’ allegiances are. After all there are a lot of Australian families that depend on Ford Oz getting it right. While complicated, it is a better outcome than turning out the lights and becoming an importer.

  • Phil

    “In its first two months on sale, the brand’s new EcoLPi LPG system accounted for around 17 per cent of Falcon and Falcon Ute sales”

    But total Falcon sales during those two months remained around the same mark as they were all year without the EcoLPI!

    If EcoLPI accounted for 17% of sales during that two months period, then the petrol Falcon lost 17% of sales.

    Yet the article says Ford is taking care of the sales slide due to the lack of a LPG model? Obviously the reintroduction of a LPG model is just sustituting petrol sales, NOT complimenting them. That is not taking care of the sales slide.

  • paulb

    Lets not stop at Ecoboost+Ecolpi.LPI Fpv+xr8+Falcon station wagon.

  • Dan

    I am the proud owner of a fg g6e , this car is a joy to drive heaps of room heaps of grunt looks a million bucks . My fg is not an expensive car to run or maintain , if the falcon fails an ford pull the pin on it then Australia loses in more ways than one!!!!!

  • v8interceptor

    the problem is the new falcons are just plain UGLY dogs!

    • Frostie

      You spelt HSV E3 GTS wrong.

  • Mike

    What at the HSV holden’s aint don’t make me sick, with faux bodykits and wannabe chevy badges tryhard at best.

  • Mike

    You sir are the “Definition of the Holden bogan brigade”!

  • Mike

    Only v8interceptor could come up with such crap.

  • Bvcxz1st

    Ford are falling behind again.  In a few months there will be electric cars on the road and Ford have not shown any thing.  
      Most of us have out grown the boy racer and commute to work as the main function of driving.  Look around next time your slowly moving along.  In peak hour traffic or a long column going to the snow or beach,  what use is a high performance car where the speed limit is 110 and traffic jambs are even less.  Give me an electric car that has cruise control and auto pilot to steer and keep it a safe distance from the car in front, and the daily news paper being read to me while I sit and relax.
      Tip for Ford,  build a cheap (under $10000 electric car with a range of 250km or better that can be plugged into a power point.  I can see people putting recharge points into car parks and in their garage and at shopping centres.  Might also finally se an end to revheads.

    • Mike

      Electric cars are not used enough for current markets to make them that cheap they are lucky if they sell 10,000 in one year and you will need plug outlets to recharge in your house connected to solar panels.

      The Mitsubishi iMiev electric car is seventy thousand dollars not really worth buying at the moment.

      • Bvcxz1st

        No one in their right mind would buy an electric car for $70000.  The reality will begin when people realise that you can buy an electric car and pay it off with petrol money.  For me that would be $150 pw.  When major manufacturers (Korean and Jap) flood the market with realistic cars priced at under $15000 and have a range to suit people  (for me 250km) ,  why would you buy a 300kmph car to sit in traffic with the slow cars.  You might save it fort week ends.  Existing bodies and big batteries would do the job for now.