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Ford Oz posts $87.2m loss

Incoming: Ford hopes this month's new Falcon will re-ignite large-car sales.

Ford Australia slips further into the red with an after-tax loss $87.2 million

Ford logo12 May 2008

FORD Australia has announced a net after-tax loss of $87.2 million for 2007, a year in which Australians purchased a record of 1,049,982 new vehicles.

Ford announced the bad news after 4pm on Friday (May 9) in a bid to minimise media coverage, in the same way that Holden revealed its $146.56 million loss for 2006.

While Holden won’t reveal its 2007 financial results until June, the Ford result is more than double what the company lost in 2006 ($40.3 million) and comes as a result of a year-on-year decline in sales of 6894 vehicles.

The Ford Motor Company of Australia’s net revenue from the sale of 108,071 vehicles in 2007 was $3.3 billion, while Ford’s market share shrank from 11.9 per cent in 2006 to 10.3 per cent last year.

 center imageFrom top: Focus, Mondeo and Ranger.

Just as Holden’s 2006 loss, which followed a similar loss in 2005 ($144.6m), was attributable both to slower sales and the cost of developing its billion-dollar VE Commodore, Ford’s 2007 loss is also at least partly due to its investment in the new FG Falcon.

Ford also invested heavily in research and development facilities in Geelong and at the company's Proving Ground in Lara during 2007, as well as in upgraded manufacturing processes in preparation for production of the Focus from 2011.

“Ford Australia experienced a challenging year in 2007, with the ongoing transition of our product mix contributing to lower sales volume and market share,” said Ford Australia President, Bill Osborne.

“We continued to make significant investments in our facilities that will help secure the long-term future of Ford in Australia. These will further establish our business as a centre of automotive design and engineering excellence in the development of class-leading vehicles for Australia and overseas markets,” said Mr Osborne.

Ford’s two best-selling models, the Falcon and Territory, maintained their positions as the nation’s second best selling large-car and the best-selling SUV respectively – despite significant sales downturns for both models.

Territory sales of 17,290 (down from 18,364 in 2006) equated to 23.2 per cent of the medium SUV segment – down from 29.9 per cent in 2006. Falcon sales of 33,941 (down from 42,390 in 2006) equated to 25.5 per cent of the large-car segment – down from 32.6 per cent in 2006.

The launch of at least five new imported models was not enough to compensate for the decreased popularity of Ford’s two volume-selling homegrown models.

“The enhancement of the Ford portfolio through the arrival of Ranger, Fiesta XR4, Focus turbo-diesel, Mondeo and Focus Coupe-Cabriolet has created the most impressive Ford line-up in recent history,” said Mr Osborne.

“The arrival of the all-new FG Falcon in May will further boost our showroom appeal. Combined with the strategic decisions we are implementing to produce small cars in Australia and access global engine technologies, our strong vehicle line-up sees Ford better positioned than ever before to maximise opportunities associated with changing consumer buying patterns.”

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