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Ford to slash Falcon pricing with FG II series
Price cuts of up to $3655 to Ford Falcon sedan and slimmer ute range as FG II nears
7 Nov 2011
FORD Australia will slash prices across its struggling Falcon sedan and utility range when the facelifted FG MkII series is introduced just before Christmas.
After announcing in September that the new series will pick up a host of standard equipment, Ford has now revealed it will also drop Falcon prices by between $2555 and $3655 across the board, with the entry-level XT sedan dropping back below the $40,000 mark to $37,235 plus on-road costs.
The XT is currently priced from $40,290, marking a decrease of $3055 with the FG II upgrade.
Ford’s more aggressive sales strategy acknowledges the transaction prices of large cars in Australia are often well below the advertised list price.
It also comes as the latest VFACTS figures show that sales of the Falcon sedan are down a massive 37 per cent to the end of October this year – it managed just 1591 units last month, which was 29.5 per cent down on the same month last year – while Falcon Ute sales are 26.7 per cent down year-to-date.
Large-car segment sales are down 20.6 per cent YTD, after Holden’s Commodore fell 20.3 per cent last month to be 8.9 per cent down for the year and Toyota’s Aurion, which will be replaced by an all-new model early next year, also dropped 22.2 per cent in October to be 22.4 per cent down for the year.
Decisions are expected soon over whether future generations of both the Falcon and Commodore will switch to a global and potentially front-wheel-drive vehicle platform.
Ford Australia has also used the FG MkII upgrade to pare back the Falcon-based utility range, culling the slow-selling R6 model positioned between the entry-level XT and sporty XR6.
Ford’s Campbellfield factory will begin producing the FG II Falcon early next month, with a small number of vehicles expected to arrive in dealerships before the end of the year.
Ford Australia will then introduce the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost version of the Falcon early next year, although has not disclosed the exact month it will become available.
The company’s public affairs director, Sinead McAlary, said the additional features in the FG II series will help maintain sales in the large-car segment and “bring it into line with what most people expect” from the Falcon.
She said Ford Australia was not expecting a sales bounce from the introduction of the sharper-priced range, but did view the upgrade as a way to help counter the continuing decline of large-car sales.
“We see this as a way of keeping customers who might have been tempted to go somewhere else,” she told GoAuto this week.
Additional sales are anticipated with the arrival of the long-awaited EcoBoost four-cylinder, but again Ms McAlary viewed its introduction as a way of reinforcing the existing Falcon ownership base.
“It will answer fuel consumption and environmental concerns some customers and potential customers might have regarding Falcon,” she said.
Ms McAlary said the introduction of the EcoLPi liquid-injection LPG Falcon had not yet delivered a bounce in sales given its relatively recent addition to the line-up, although the first deliveries were made in August.
She said many fleet contracts were coming up for renewal soon and the company expected EcoLPi sales to pick up as a result.
LPG-fuelled Falcons have previously accounted for up to 30 per cent of Falcon sedan and utility sales, but the option became unavailable late in 2010 after more stringent emissions regulations forced the previous version from the market.
As GoAuto reported almost two months ago, FG II models will be fitted with more standard equipment across the board, including curtain airbags on all sedans and side head/thorax airbags on all utes, with the entry-level ute also coming into line with the remainder of the Falcon two- and four-door range with standard electronic stability control, traction control and emergency brake assist.
All models pick up a new-look centre console and information screen as well as sound system USB input. An eight-inch colour touch-screen will be standard on all Falcon sedans except the base XT, on which it is an option.
FG MkII models have revised front-end styling, taking cues from the recently facelifted Territory, although no sheetmetal has been altered.
Ford says the new standard equipment is worth between $1050 on lesser grades and $8255 for the range-topping G6E Turbo.
There are new alloy wheels for most models and 18-inch wheels are now standard on XR6, while G6E and G6E Turbo add projector headlights and LED parking lights.
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