News - Ford
Falcon had to go, says Ford global chief
Tough love: Ford’s Alan Mulally says the US car-maker is doing the right thing by Australian car buyers.
Mulally loved the Falcon, but large-car customers have moved on
19 August 2013
KILLING off the Falcon after 50 years of local production was Ford’s only
option in the end, according to the car-maker’s global chief executive Alan
But the company decided to give three years’ notice of the closure and
committed to next year’s late-life makeover of the Falcon “out of respect for
all the stakeholders” and to ensure an orderly transition.
“Of course, it is a serious consideration where we decide to make things, but
the world is becoming more and more integrated and you have to be competitive,”
Mr Mulally saidl while mingling with Ford dealers after last week’s ‘Go
Further’ event in Sydney.
“You have to be competitive or you don’t get a chance to stay in business and
serve the customer.
“We’re doing the right thing by the consumer in the longer term.”
Closing the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants, he said, was part of the challenge
of continually improving quality and productivity so Ford could perform more
efficiently in the global market.
He said the decision did not reflect on the quality of the Falcon or the plant
that builds it.
“I loved the Falcon the first time I was in it. But (the large car) market is
really, really small. The customers have moved on to smaller, more efficient
vehicles, and this is exactly what we are going to provide.”
When asked why Ford would continue local production until 2016, he said it was
out of respect to “stakeholders”, suggesting Ford was doing the right thing by
its suppliers, employees and the government.
“We really want to have an orderly transition, out of respect for all the
stakeholders. That’s why we are refreshing the Falcon, because there are a lot
of people that love the Falcon. And we will refresh the Territory, too.”
“Absolutely we are doing the right thing for all the stakeholders involved,
including employees, the supply base, the industry, we’re doing absolutely the
Mr Mulally said there was nothing the government could have done to keep the
Ford plants open, and no amount of money that would have swayed Ford’s US-based
board of directors.
“We have worked very hard to make a viable business here. We have had a
tremendous public/private partnership and we are just not competitive making
vehicles here in Australia.
“So we are doing the right thing. Any company needs to be making a reasonable
return so they can continue to invest in new products.
“You know, this is the most open market in the world, the most competitive
market in the world.
“There are more brands here than anywhere else in the world. There are more
marques than in the rest of the world.
“This is a really competitive market and if you are going to get a chance to
participate here, you have to be really competitive.”