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Final Fords to be auctioned

Good cause: The last ‘saleable’ Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory will be auctioned off to support future automotive engineers.

Future generations of engineers to benefit from final Ford auction

6 Oct 2016

FORD Australia will auction the final saleable Falcon sedan, Falcon Ute and Territory SUV to raise money to attract future generations of engineers to the automotive industry via a schools robotics program.

The three vehicles to go under the hammer at Manheim are a Kinetic ‘Ford blue’ Falcon XR6 sedan, a diesel silver Territory Titanium and a Smoke grey Falcon XR6 Turbo Ute.

The proceeds will help students in Geelong and Broadmeadows compete in a global robotics competition under Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM, formerly STEM) programs.

Ford engineers will help establish or expand STEAM hubs in these areas, while also mentoring teams competing globally in the robotics competitions in which teams build robots with sensing technologies to complete various tasks.

Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman said the idea behind the auction was to support more people who want to get into automotive engineering in Australia.

“We have spent more than three years helping our manufacturing employees find new futures in Broadmeadows and Geelong,” he said. “As the leading local automotive R&D investor and employer going forward, we also want to support the country’s quest to spur more innovation and tap into our unique talent base.”

The announcement comes the same week that Ford shuts its Geelong and Broadmeadows factories for good, 91 years after it set up shop in Australia.

The final day of Ford manufacturing is Friday October 7.

“Our Australian team lead the global development of the Ranger and Everest at our innovative virtual reality design lab in Broadmeadows, 950-hectacre test track with one of the world’s most advanced wind tunnels, outside Geelong, and through some of the world’s toughest terrain across the country,” said Mr Whickman.

“While the scales are different, STEAM kids have to program robots to take on tough challenges in a similar way.”

The company highlighted the advanced development and testing it does on camera and radar technologies to enhance the safety and performance capabilities of its global model range.

Registrations are now open for the auction of the three Australian vehicles by Manheim on October 15. The auction will be streamed online.

While the vehicles up for grabs are the final saleable Australian-built Fords, the Blue Oval will keep the last Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory for display at various enthusiast events before being lent to museums in Victoria.

Ford says these display vehicles will be fitted with a compliance plate with no government authority number, ensuring they cannot be registered.

Ford will also donate the auction proceeds of the Falcon XR6 Sprint No. 500 of 500 to its Geelong-based charity partner, Give Where You Live.

This year marks Ford’s 50th year supporting the charity in which Ford leaders “inspire local community members” through its Loaned Executive Program.

The final Falcon Ute rolled off the Broadmeadows production line at the end of July, and the engine plant in Geelong produced its last two engines at the end of September.

As well, six of Ford’s 740 remaining factory workers who will be without a job come tomorrow will be offered the chance to enter a Golden Ticket-style ballot to win one of six identical Falcon XR6 sedans.

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