News - Ford
Ford research and development to power on
Company sticking to 2016 deadline as long as Falcon and Territory demand holds up
27 Jun 2014
By IAN PORTER
FORD Australia’s design and engineering department is set to continue its role as a critical part of the global Ford product development system, president and CEO Bob Graziano said last night.
The local arm of the US automotive giant is also determined to keep manufacturing the Falcon and Territory out to the stated deadline of November 2016, Mr Graziano told GoAuto at the VACC Automotive Design Awards.
Mr Graziano did not envisage any further retrenchments from the manufacturing operations, but he said it was all about demand.
“Nothing has changed with our plan. The intent is to go to November 2016 and nothing has changed in that regard,” he said.
“We are matching production to demand, which is a core tenet of the way we run the business.”
Mr Graziano said the design centre was currently wrapping up work on the facelifts for the Territory and Falcon models, which are slated for release later this year.
“If you look at where we are with Territory, it’s a pretty good place to be in that segment, and with Falcon holding its own.
“We are really looking forward to the freshening of both those products later this year.”
While the design and development centre was wrapping up work on the local products, Mr Graziano said the bulk of its work was on international models.
“It’s one of four centres of excellence we have around the world. It is an important part of the Ford product development system globally.
“We work not only on our (Australian) products, but think of products like the Ranger, which they worked on here.
“They are working on products around the globe and I think their capabilities were demonstrated with vehicles like the Ranger.
“They did the Figo which, at one time, was the most awarded vehicle in India, so they should be very proud of the work they have done to date.”
Mr Graziano said Ford Australia would still remain relevant in the Ford world after manufacturing ceased.
“We do remain an important part of the Ford world. Every market where we operate is important to the company.
“We’re a global company and we look at every operation as the same. They are all important to us.
“As Henry Ford said in 1925, 'We want to put the world on wheels and open the highways to all mankind' and what better way than being in all those countries and doing that?”
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