Ford Australia has begun to wind down car production at its plants in Melbourne, 28 months out from ending its long-time manufacturing role across the ditch.
It is now making 83 Falcons and Territory SUVs a day, a line rate down 50 vehicles since January. The departure of workers taking the volunteer redundancy packages is matching that of lower production at its Broadmeadows car and Geelong engine plants. All up, more than 1100 jobs will be lost by October 2016, when Ford closes its manufacturing doors.
It is not known what will be the main sedan in the Ford line-up, but the Territory is ultimately expected to be replaced by a global version of the US Edge SUV. The Ford Everest, designed in Australia alongside the commercial Ranger, will be the genuine off-roader in the mix.
Everest will share much of its underpinnings with the Ranger, upon which it is based. But the Ranger’s rear leaf spring arrangement will go – Ford has replaced that with coil springs.
Pictured here is the ‘Ranger’ SUV, the one likely to be badged the Everest and compete with the seven-seat Holden Colorado. Spy photographers from Automedia caught up with it. It is covered in black and white tinfoil but Automedia said it was the seven-seater production model.
The final chapter in Ford Performance Vehicles – Ford Australia’s go-fast arm – is about to end with the production of just two models, the Falcon GT F sedan and Persuit ute. The FPV GT F salutes the legendary Falcon GTs of the late 1960s and early 1970s and is the most powerful sedan ever produced by Ford Australia.
Under the bonnet is a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 generating 351kW, again a reference to the iconic 351 cubic-inch 5.8-litre V8s that powered the original Falcon GTs.
Customers have rushed dealers Australia-wide to secure the celebration run of FPV GT F sedans and Pursuit utes. Very few GT F sedans remain available and there is strong interest in the Pursuit utes.
Just 500 of the FPV GT F sedans will be built for the Australian market, with an additional 50 built for New Zealand. Ford will build just 120 Pursuit Utes. Below is a gallery of the GT F: