he last Falcon, but it’s certainly not the end of Ford’s work in Australia. Ford Australia CEO, Graeme Whickman says the company is here to stay

The last Falcon, but it’s certainly not the end of Ford’s work in Australia.
Ford Australia CEO, Graeme Whickman says the company is here to stay.

Let’s look at the good news and forget about the bad. Ford may no longer making cars in Australia, but it is doing an ever increasing amount of work in design, engineering and testing as a major part of Ford’s global development team.

Ford Australia’s, president and CEO, Graeme Whickman, says, “Ford will remain a major presence in Australia and we will carry forward the legacy of our manufacturing team by continuing to design and engineer world-class vehicles for Australia and the world for many years to come.”

In fact, Ford will be Australia’s leading automotive employer by late 2017 when Holden and Toyota also stop manufacturing. Despite the factory closure there are now some 2000 men and women on the Ford payroll. Tellingly, 160 of them are employees who have moved from manufacturing to product development roles.

Something like $300 million R&D investment has been made by Ford this year alone. The Australian Ford team is deeply involved in work on the Ranger pick-up and Everest SUV at Ford’s new regional Product Development Centre in Broadmeadows.

In Geelong, Ford’s Research and Development Centre will continue to take part in advanced engineering work. Once designed and engineered, the vehicles are rigorously tested at Ford’s 950-hectare proving ground in Lara outside Geelong. Naturally, prototype vehicles are tested across Australian in some of this country’s punishing terrain.

There’s more good news. Ford will donate the proceeds (less taxes) from the auction of the final saleable Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory. The money raised will be used to support the establishment and expansion of student robotics programs in Broadmeadows and Geelong schools.

Ford engineers will work with these schools to either expand or create hubs for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) programs.

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, USA, manufactures or distributes vehicles across six continents. It has about 181,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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