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Ford to axe 300 more Australian jobs in 2014

Cut back: Ford produces I6 engines in Geelong and assembles Falcons and Territories in Broadmeadows.

Slowdown at Broadmeadows means 300 Ford workers out of a job from May

Ford logo6 Feb 2014

UPDATED 15:00 AESTFORD will cut 300 jobs from its Victorian factories in Broadmeadows and Geelong between May and December as it slices Falcon and Territory production by more than 30 per cent.

The announcement comes just 24 hours after official VFACTS sales figures for January revealed Ford Falcon sales hit a new low of 461 units for the month, while its Territory sibling also dropped 41.3 per cent to 681 units.

The move will reduce the factory workforce to about 700 workers by year’s end – a fraction of the staff levels once employed in the plants which are due to shut their doors in October 2016.

Ford staff and union officials were today told of the decision to cut worker numbers, with the company saying it would offer voluntary redundancies.

Ford Australia communications and public affairs director Wes Sherwood told GoAuto the company was still sorting through the specifics of the offer.

“We will determine that (detail) working with partners,” he said. “We have to continue to match production with demand. In June we will reduce Falcon and Territory production by one-third.”

When Ford announced in May last year that it would shut the doors of its Australian motor vehicle manufacturing operations in October 2016, it had 1160 workers.

In the second half of 2013, Ford’s local plants had at least 12 days of planned downtime to reduce production.

The company nevertheless remains on track to launch its facelifted ‘FH’ Falcon and Territory models late in 2014, said Mr Sherwood.

The 1000-plus staff at Ford’s Australian design and engineering centre will be unaffected.

“We will maintain the largest auto employee base later this decade for engineering and design jobs,” he said, referring to Holden’s decision to close its local engineering division by 2018.

Ford will overhaul its entire range of vehicles by 2017 with a range of new imports, including the Australian-designed but Thai-made Everest, the Territory-replacing Edge and the US-made Mustang muscle car.

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