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Ford Australia increases production
Gee whiz: The Ford Falcon G6E Turbo is in demand, says Ford.
Ford steps back on the production pedal as Falcon sedan nips at Commodore's heels
16 June 2009
FORD Australia is taking the rare step of increasing production in June to meet demand on select models as Falcon sedan closes the sales gap on Holden’s top-selling Commodore.
Ford came within one percentage point of its arch rival in overall sales last month, but was hamstrung by lack of a fresh Falcon wagon to match Holden’s Sportwagon.
Ford Australia president Marin Burela said the company had cancelled two scheduled production down days to increase volumes.
“As a matter of fact, we are looking at whether we can increase, for the month of June, our line rate or through-put for the last two weeks to see whether we can get some more units out,” he said.
“There is a call from dealers and customers for Territorys, for Utilities, for Falcon and G6E Turbo.”
Mr Burela says Ford dealers had waiting lists for premium G6E Turbo models, with most customers having to wait until as late as October to take delivery.
He said demand for specific models reflected the take up of higher specification models in the FG range, with far more Ford customers buying the higher-end G6E and XR models than the entry level XT.
In another positive for Ford Australia, the Falcon sedan came within a few sales of beating the Holden Commodore sedan in May, according to VFACTS data.
Publicly released VFACTS figures show that in May, Holden sold 3683 Commodores compared to Ford shifting 2846 Falcons, but these numbers included wagons.
“The difference when you look at Falcon and Commodore is the delta between the two wagons,” says Mr Burela.
“Whereas sedan to sedan in May we were climbing and climbing and we were within 10 or 15 cars of one another.”
While Holden is selling a new VE Sportwagon, Ford Australia is soldiering on with a BF III version of the wagon with no FG version in the pipeline.
Mr Burela said Ford still sold about 300 to 400 Falcon wagons a month and was yet to decide if it would invest in an upgrade.
“We continue to look at what we should do and we haven’t come to a conclusion yet,” he said.
“We took the view of waiting to see what happens.
“We are being cautious as we move forward because every decision you make on product like that means millions and millions and millions of dollars and the last thing I want to do is invest our scarce resources where we don’t need to invest them.”
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