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Ford has announced a fresh $103 million investment for the Falcon large car and Territory SUV, though the future of the Australian-built vehicles is still guaranteed only until the end of 2016.

The new investment – announced jointly by Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano, Ford Asia Pacific and Asia president Joe Hinrichs, and Australia’s Manufacturing Senator, Kim Carr at the 2012 Detroit motor show – will see Ford introduce updated Falcon and Territory models in 2014.

Ford spokeswoman Sinead Phipps told CarAdvice the announcement is for a five-year plan only and there’s no new decision about the future of the Falcon and Territory beyond 2016.

Mr Graziano told CarAdvice the cash injection will be used to create “clean technology to improve CO2 and safety performance” of the Falcon and Territory and will also add 300 jobs in the process.

The $103 million cash injection by Ford Australia includes $34 million from the Federal Government’s New Car Plan and support from the Victorian State Government.

When asked about the specifics of how that cash would be spent Mr Graziano said: “[We] don’t get into that specificity but largely geared towards CO2 improvements and safety” also including “aerodynamic, transmission, tyre and design changes”.

Ford will utilise a series of engineering and design enhancements to improve Falcon and Territory aero drag by around 7.5 per cent, while also reducing tyre resistance by around 10 percent.

Another change, apart from potential design enhancements, will be the introduction of a new six-speed automatic, which Ford Australia says will deliver improved response, efficiency and transmission refinement.

The company says the changes will help reduce the Falcon’s emissions by about five per cent.

The new investment, however, doesn’t secure the future of either the Falcon or the Falcon-based Territory, built on the same plant line in Broadmeadows, Victoria.

Ford is due to introduce its all-new large car in 2016, a model that will join other Ford models such as the Fiesta, Focus and just-revealed Mondeo as global cars created for every market.

The new large car is expected to be offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, ending the Falcon’s long run as a rear-wheel-drive model.

The future of Ford’s Geelong-built inline six-cylinder engine is also uncertain beyond 2016, with new (Euro 5) emissions regulations set to come into force that year.

Mr Graziano said the I6 “engine is capable of getting to Euro 5 but will take a significant amount of investment to work through that”, though the company has yet to commit to that investment.

The improved Falcon and Territory, which will be released in 2014, will see the related models remain on the same platform that was first launched in 2002 with the BA Falcon.

The announcement coincided with the unveiling of the new Ford Mondeo (Fusion in North America), which is starting to establish itself as a popular model in Australia.

The Ford Territory finished the year as the best-selling SUV while the Falcon saw its sales dip by more than 40 percent, to hit an all-time low. Ford is hopeful that the four-cylinder EcoBoost Falcon, which is set for release early this year, helped by the LPG models will see a brighter future for the Falcon.

Territory sales are seeing a resurgence after a turbo diesel variant was belatedly introduced last year. With the four-cylinder turbo petrol engine launching in the Falcon in April, the more fuel efficient engines were part of a $232 million investment after the company backtracked on plans to build the Focus small car locally.

Ford executives admit the large-car segment continues to be a concern, with design boss J Mays telling CarAdvice last week that the future of large cars was likely to rest with medium-size sedans such as the company’s new Mondeo (Fusion in the US).

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano said the car maker had to continue making the Falcon relevant to buyers.

“There’s no doubt the large car segment is challenging, but it can remain viable if we continue to provide buyers what they want – fuel efficiency, design excellence, and features that enhance safety and the driving experience.” Mr Graziano said.

Ford Australia continues to be involved in global projects for its parent company. The company successfully designed and engineered the globally acclaimed Ford Ranger – which will see a spin-off SUV expected to be called Endeavour or Everest – as well as developing the Figo light car for the Indian market.

The local car maker is also believed to be working on a car project for the Chinese market.




  • Michael

    Yay

  • Rick

    I’ve been a big supporter of the falcon / commodore but for Australia to give ford $34m with no guarantee beyond 2016 its a joke ,the car would have continued till then anyway . Just another example of the government giving away tax payers money . If the carbon tax stays manufacturing won’t

    • horse

      Oh please, What is this, the Alan Jones listiners forum ?
      34M is nothing in the scheme of things. The northern NSW freeway project is costing 15M per kilometre.
      Please go back to watching today tonight and keep your stupid comments to yourself.

       

      • Rick

        Yes it is but you are getting a new freeway , you’re already getting the falcon and territory that wasn’t going to change till after 2016 anyway . As I said a waste of money

  • Phil

    Ummm Alborz, how does this “plan” guarantee Falcon untill 2016? Did Ford sign some kind of legally binding contract to say they’d keep production going untill 2016? What’s to stop them pulling the plug beforehand?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      You’re not going to invest $103m and then pull the plug before you get some returns. Plus I am sure the Federal government would have some form of commitment till 2016 otherwise it wouldn’t give the cash over. It’s also what Ford said officially, and given the Ecoboost falcon is just about to come out and Territory doing so well, I think 2016 is a pretty safe bet.

      • Rick

        They won’t discontinue the falcon till after 2016 ( if they stop at all) if for no other reason than the new Taurus isn’t due till 2015 and from what I’ve read the current Taurus is LHD only . Have you noticed the current

      • Phil

        Alborz, have you ever heard of the Australian made Mitsubishi 380? They spent a LOT more than $103m on the 380 program and even after the initial poor sales, the bosses insisted the factory would not close down. The factory closed down and Mitsubishi didn’t get any returns on the investment.

        How are you sure the Government has some form of commitment from Ford? Where are the details?
        The Government gave Mitsubishi plenty of money to keep their local production going, but any commitments obviously failed.

        “Thinking” 2016 is a safe bet is not “guaranteed” that it will happen.

    • Gibbut

      falcon will be gone well before 2016, as much as ford pretends they want it, THEY DONT.

      this 103+ million, will see the territory made here to 2016, as its a seller… i wonder why?? Because ford actually puts adds on tv and tells people about it.

      shame the falcon including ecolpi and soon, ecoboost have been swept under the carpet to die.

  • JEKYL & HYDE

    those changes sound alot like the same ones holden did last year with the series 2 ve…

    • Guest

      Holden made changes with the series II? I didnt see any, lol.

      • Gibbut

        and sales dropped

  • Laurie

    Territory’s future,why is that in doubt ?  see so many on Sydney roads 

    • Gibbut

      territory is a massive seller, the new model is everywhere, and most people i have spoken to with the new one, had an older one and have upgraded because they loved them.

  • Lynchy

    As a big supporter of the Falcon and to a lesser extant Commodore, I was initially glad to hear that Ford is committed to the Falcon in its current guise until 2016, however after crunching the numbers I don’t see this announcement as anything to get excited about, given that the cash injection of 103 million dollars is to fund the next five years of the Falcons life. The current platform is Circa 2002 (BA) so this year see’s it’s ten year anniversary, although FG brought masssive changes to the cars sheet metal and front steering geometry the fixed points and rears suspension layout remain relatively unchanged. What the Falcon needs is a new platform to take it in to the future and there’s no money for that, it seems Ford Global and Aus is content to see the Falcon remain largely as is until 2016 albeit with better emission standards and fuel efficiency, regardless of sales, essentially treading water until the new gloabal large car arrives in 2016 (which may end up being an extended wheel base Fusion/Mondeo).

    If the FG MK2 is going to be much the same Falcon I’m looking at in 2014 – 2016 I think Ford would be far better served to draw a line in the sand now and and pump this money in to getting the new Mondeo here as soon as possible, Ford could retool their manufacturing facilities to assemble that car here to keep jobs locally as we currently receive Mondeo from Europe the cost to assemble here should be comparable unlike Focus and Fiesta which are manufactured in cheap South East Asian Countries, mainly Thailand. If they took this approach Ford might actually be front runners in that segment of the market rather than playing catch up, which is what they’ve been doing with Fiesta and Focus.

    I believe the Falcon is still relevent at the present time but unless large amounts of money are invested over the next few years it won’t be, that includes drastic changes to it’s appearance, nothing worse than seeing such a great car die a slow, unremarkable death.

    As a side note Ford US should give us a right hand drive version of the Mustang, to compensate us for loosing our local performance car, it won’t suit everyone but I’m shore they would sell a shed load of 5.0l mustangs if they were priced around 50 k.

    • moonie

      The current Falcon really dates back to the AU, but so what ?  Mechanically the suspension and body are about as far advanced as its possible to go with a RWD car.

      The Mondeo has hardly set the market on fire, and its unlikely Ford would invest in a complete re-tool of Broadmeadows when they are already on the breadline and they have other priorites – sorting out the problems in Europe, for instance, expanding market share in Asia, dealing with the lack of a light pick up factory (after they had to sell the Thailand factory to Mazda to avoid bankruptcy).

    • Troll No. 47

      That $103 Million is on top of $232 Million already allocated by FoMoCo to Australian operations. And what’s all this carry on about this “old” platform? So what, as has been pointed out it’s about as advanced as you can get with a RWD platform without introducing hybrids and exotic materials into the mix which will cost huge dollars.

      • Lynchy

        Don’t get me wrong, the platforms fine today, it’s the best in class (one of the reasons I drive an F6 and will likely do so for quite some time) but considering only 1500 people a month are buying them now, that figure will likely be in the hundreds in a couple of years unless people can see there getting an improved product which means big visual changes, continue to improve economy and more tech, marketing could help a little in this area. As far as funding goes that amount is not much, most of the 103 million will go on meeting Euro V. In the past revisions to NVH and bumpers have cost them over 100 million so the dollar doesn’t go far.

        As far as the platform goes there’s plenty of improvements that could be made, given the finances, the control blade rear end was designed for small to medium front engined cars, so in the Falcon it’s a compromise between, cost, weight and dynamics, the Commodore rear end is a better setup.

        In a perfect world Ford Australia would be designing a large global RWD vehicle for the world but it doesn’t look like that’s going to eventuate, unfortunately, as I’m sure they could design an absolute belter.

    • Sydlocal

       I thought the FG also had a longer wheelbase than the BA?

      • Road Warrior

        It does, slightly. References to the E8 platform being “the same” as the BA revision of the EA169 platform are wrong. The only chassis module carried over from BF to FG was the firewall and floorpan, and even those pressings had been changed from BA to BF to accommodate the ZF automatic transmission. The Falcon has always been a case of constant evolution, rather than starting from scratch every time just for the sake of it to please the “must have new” crowd. 

      • ScottT

        Mondeo has a longer wheelbase than FG 2850mm vs 2838mm

    • Naimad77

      Totally agree! Retool the plant for a modified Mondeo and take advantage of the enormous economies of scale available. Call it the Falcon and Bob’s your uncle.

      • Dave S

        Why retool the Mondeo? The Falcon advantage is it’s RWD. Even in its worst month the Falcon has done better than the Mondeo in it’s best month. Similar in size, but too different. The Mondeo platform will never be a ute, or a V8 GT or even a XR6.

        The name Falcon, like the Commodore has grown from sport sedans. The Mondeo will never be a sports sedan. There is no reason for Ford to lose it’s profitable performance models, in return for the budget FWD alternatives.

        • Golfschwein

          The wide picture is that Ford are selling 1700 uniquely Australian cars per month. How many F series pick-ups and Focuses are sold around the world in just morning tea time? There’s the problem right there. Boss couldn’t care less that it’s a sport sedan, in some guises. He just sees 1700 sales per month of a unique car in a single region and rightly identifies that he has to do something about it.

  • Joe

    All I can say is they better start selling some, doubt Ford will put up with more loses. Time will tell I guess. I just wish they still made the RTV ute I would like to update mine.

  • Itsnotthepolliesmoney

    So the Australian government is giving Ford some australian taxpayers money to reduce tyre resistance by 10%. Last time i checked, neither Ford or Australia made tyres. So basically Australia is giving Ford some money so they can get a japanese tyre manufacturer to make a better tyre in indonesia.  The problem is, the present Labour government never verifys where its money is going.

  • Mick

    I think Direct Injection and Twin-VCT, along with other head efficiency improvements should be considered a priority.  It almost seems as though Ford America don’t want those changes to the Falcon because it would make it considerable better than their current V6.

  • Barry

    Best news coming out of Ford Australia for a while.2011 was a horrible year for Falcon,struggling without the xr8 and station wagen+no lpg compatable engine.

  • GTK

    100l underfloor lpg tank that takes a 265 spare.
    3.0TTD
    Sportswagon
    XR8 5.0 Boss331
    GTHO
    LPi V8
    Bleeding obvious
    Does anyone listen or care?

  • lozza

    Pity they don’t let Ford Australia export the Falcon to other markets in a left hand drive configuration.

  • guest

    put the 2.7l diesel into the falcon.

  • MisterZed

    So 2016 will be the end of Falcon and local Ford production.  Previous reports hinted at 2015 being the end, so this is really not news nor a surprise.  After 2016 Ford will be strictly an importer – the Mondeo/Fusion will likely be imported from Thailand to fill the gap left by Falcon. 

    • james graham

      I strongly suspect the vast majority of Falcon buyers wont be interested in a Mondeo/Fusion at all.  We want a reasonable amount of grunt and a decent sized vehicle.  I strongly doubt a Mondeo can fill this gap.

  • Gibbut

    Dear ford

    please spend ALL that money on advertising you TWITS!!!!

  • Gibbut

    joe

    Ford isnt making losses. All their other models are selling WELL and the last 2 years running ford au has made a sizeable profit, even without their unwanted child, the falcon.

  • james graham

    Let’s hope they invest some money in aluminium panels!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Winner.01 Richard Collis

    In 2016 when Ford US announce that Ford Aus have had significant involvement in designing and engineering the next RWD platform, I will not be surprised. The Falcon and Territory are world class vehicles, Ford Aus are a world class design and engineer team. Ford US know this already (Ford Aus designed and engineered Ford Figo and Ranger)

  • ScottT

    All these people whinging about the demise of the local car industry, well if you feel that strongly about it then go and put your money where your mouth is and buy a commodore or falcon…….

    • Phil

      …and they should pay full RRP + on road costs for it!

  • HandBrake

    Ford try and save these pennies and try to invest in a ford falcon wagon? eh ?

    • Ozziemark

      yeah, new falcon wagon… i would love this idea

  • Carmine

    Why is only the the Bonanno family invited to this sit-down? What about the Colombo, Genovese, Lucchese and Gambinos eh? This aint gonna fly without all the 5 families, forget about it.. 

  • Anthony_83

    I think the Australian Government should put its money where it mouth is and have an Australian Car Only policy. Why should they tell us to buy Australian without doing so themselves.

  • Kane Alto

    Smiles all around, they got the handout.

  • Jimmy

    I’m said to see the falcon and territory’s go but I would like to see the American cars we will get

    • MisterZed

      What American cars? Aside from the upcoming new Mustang, no other US Fords are currently made in RHD.

  • Shame

    I would rather thay give it to ford to help our people than give away all our money to boat people that have done nothing for our country do a tally on money given to boat people vs ford Wish i got a free house and 10grand to furnish it