The negative financial result is the fourth consecutive loss for Ford Australia, leaving the company approximately $890 million in the red since 2010.
It also comes on the back of a decade of spiralling sales in Australia. Ford’s local sales have fallen every year since 2004, when they tallied 135,172. Last year sales totalled little more than half that number, tallying just 79,703.
Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Wes Sherwood said the majority of 2014’s loss was directly related to planned employee separation costs as the company scales back its manufacturing workforce ahead of the cessation of local production in October 2016.
Despite the significant loss, Sherwood said the company was upbeat about last year’s operating loss, which reduced from $26 million to about $23 million, which means that Ford is making more profit per vehicle it sells – even if it’s selling less of them.
“We think a key is that these results show our long-term business is strengthening as our operating results improved nearly $3 million … based on a better mix of sales,” Sherwood said.
“We have been emphasising during monthly sales reports as our business is getting better even as sales have declined. In fact, we only have about five per cent of the rental car business we had just a few years ago.
“This is the same ‘One Ford’ strategy that has been working for us around the world, and something we are committed to for the long run.”
There have been few positive signs so far in 2015, with sales down 18.9 per cent to the end of April to 21,565.