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Falcon retail therapy
Ford introduces big deals on new FG Falcon models to combat market woes
18 Aug 2008
JUST three months after launching the new FG Falcon, Ford Australia has been forced to introduce special value packages on its two main private-market models to combat the general decline in large car sales and also heavy retail actions on the rival Holden Commodore.
While holding firm on recommended retail prices, Ford is now offering drive-away pricing and extra features on G6 and XR6 Falcons until at least the end of September.
For $39,990 including registration and stamp duty, G6 Falcon buyers also get the E-Gas six-cylinder engine (normally an extra $1400), along with Bluetooth connectivity and full iPod integration.
XR6 buyers gain 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and iPod integration for $39,990 drive-away.
With Ford suddenly getting busy on the retail front, Falcon Ute buyers are also in for a bonus with free E-Gas and automatic transmission throughout August and September.
Ford Australia president Bill Osborne maintains he is happy with Falcon sales and market share, despite the fact that the new FG continues to be beaten by the VE Commodore in the shrinking large car market segment – in July by 3448 sales to 4906.
Left: Falcon's new Suna Traffic Channel feature showing traffic hot spots on the SatNav screen.
Another development on the Falcon front sees the introduction of a new satellite navigation feature that provides drivers of traffic conditions in their area or on their intended route.
Developed by a division of Intellimatics (which is owned by the Australian motoring clubs such as the RACV), the Suna Traffic Channel now comes as part of the SatNav option on all FG Falcons sedans and utes, as well as FPV vehicles.
Ford claims it is the first company to offer the time-saving feature, which adds $290 to the cost of the navigation option (now $2290) starting with August production.
The Suna system provides traffic information, such as crashes and congestion, and offers recalculated times or alternative routes to reduce delays, so that the navigation system is useful even for drivers on their regular routes to and from work.
Information is not only taken from traffic control centres that monitor freeways, but also from traffic lights and road sensors that advise flow rates –information that is broadcast by radio transmitters and processed by the navigation system.
Simple traffic messages are ultimately displayed on the seven-inch colour screen in the Falcon, such as the location and cause of the delay.
“With the introduction of Suna Traffic Channel, the satellite navigation system is turned from a tool to find unknown destinations into an interactive, value-adding feature which can be used every day and is valuable even on the routes that a driver is familiar with, such as driving to and from work,” says Ford.
At present, the system covers only Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, but Ford says it will be rolled out for other metropolitan areas such as Adelaide, Perth and Canberra as well as major regional areas over the next two years.
However, the Suna feature is not yet compatible with the Territory SatNav system.
Ford is also now fitting the latest (version 15) Sensis map data, which not only includes all the newest roads but also some 869 fixed speed and red light camera locations down the eastern seaboard that show up on the screen to alert drivers.
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