It is no secret that Ford Australia is losing money. According to a recent Reuters article, Ford are considering boosting exports as one option to become more profitable.
Ford Australia spokeswoman Sinead McAlary has said:
"Essentially, we are looking for a new manufacturing strategy that is going to set us up for the future. The alternatives include an export program,"
Ford's main production plant in Melbourne is operating below capacity, and there has been speculation that the Geelong plant could be closed.
"There are a number of studies underway and I can't be specific about any of them. We have to become more efficient and we have to change our business,"
Reuter's have credited shrinking sales figures to a new trend toward smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles which is leaving Ford's flagship inline-6 Falcon high and dry.
Ford have posted a net loss of A$40.3 million for its 2006 fiscal year, from a net profit of A$148.2 million in 2005. Although much of this can be credited to the $500 million Orion, which will officially debut later this year.
Ford Australia's current exports extend to New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand with 7,000 vehicles, from a total 81,500 locally made cars.
Australian car sales have topped 1 million vehicles for the first time, a staggering 22.2 percent of this figure belonging to Toyota. A further 14.5 percent to Holden and 10.4 percent belonging to Ford.