New models - Ford - Falcon
Extra value helps keep Falcons flying
Ford reprises two limited edition badges and gives its go-faster XR8 more kit
4 May 2004
FORD hopes to close the sales gap between its BA Falcon and Holden’s top-selling VY II Commodore with a number of value-added options.
At the bottom end of the Falcon range two XT-derived limited editions are aiming at different demographics.
The “family driving” orientated Classic includes a DVD/CD/MP3-compatible entertainment system and 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.
The sportier SR is specified with the BA sports series suspension package, a body kit, big rear spoiler, 17-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels and leather steering wheel. Both models are automatic-only, feature revised seat and door trim with a red or blue insert option, and include cruise control, an upgraded audio system boasting a six-stack CD player, and rear power windows.
At $34,860 plus on-roads, Ford says there’s in excess of $6000 added-value in these sedan-only series. The base XT automatic sedan currently retails for $200 less.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the Falcon range, the XR8 now includes the previously optional, aforementioned upgraded audio system and 18-inch alloy wheels in its $50,130-plus ask.
Ford says the SR (left) and Classic will be available until late September. That’s when the BA Falcon facelift (BA II? BB? BC?) should debut.
Such sprucing up of models is a sure way of increasing buyer interest and dealer traffic flow.
The BA Falcon has been available unchanged since September 2002, and sales seem to have levelled off just as the novelty naturally has.
In the first three months of this year 16,425 Falcon sedans and wagons were sold, 295 fewer than for the same time last year.
However stock shortages for some models and a fall-off in wagon orders in anticipation of the new Territory also tell a story here.
And that Falcon total was still better than Holden’s 970 corresponding Commodore unit fall over the same period, although Holden still leads handsomely with 19,070 sales.
With the SR, Classic and XR8 upgrade, Ford is keen to keep some of the spotlight on the BA now that the Territory launch is upon us. The company is also undoubtedly mindful of Holden’s newly engineered VZ Commodore range that’s due out soon.
Both companies are old pros at the value-added game.
Holden’s seemingly endless limited edition Commodore Equipe campaign normally kicks off in the second quarter of a year in readiness of a series upgrade. A VY II Equipe is probably likely.
So far, Equipe editions have adorned the VY (2003), VX II (2002), VX (2001), VT (1999), VS II and VS (1996) and VR II (1995).
Currently there’s the Commodore 25th Anniversary, while “Lumina” lights up Commodore sales towards the end of a year.
The last time the SR moniker surfaced was in the dark days of the AU II Falcon in early 2001, and again with AU III a year later.
Meanwhile “Classic” has been sporadically bandied on the boot lids of Falcons since the EA II of June 1991. EF II, EL and AU I editions followed, with the EL also appearing in Sapphire and Sapphire II designations just as Holden’s VT sales explosion occurred.
Both manufacturers have also rolled out alternating Olympic editions on or approaching the relevant years: Ford gave us the EF II Falcon in 1996 while the VY II Olympic Edition Commodore came in from 1999.
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