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Mulally: ‘Falcon’ will go on
Ford CEO says Ford Australia will always have a large car
9 Jan 2012
By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in Delhi
FORD CEO Alan Mulally has reiterated that a large car will continue to be offered in Australia after the current generation Falcon is retired in about four years.
However, he refused to comment on what the car would be or the future of the company’s manufacturing facility in Australia.
Mr Mulally fuelled speculation that the next generation Falcon, which is due in the latter half of this decade, will most probably be paired with the company’s next Taurus by restating the ‘One Ford’ philosophy of shared global platforms.
“The Australian market is shifting,” Mr Mulally told journalists at the Delhi Auto Expo in India this week.
“We’re always going to have a D/E-size car. It will become a lot more efficient over time, but (Ford Australia) will also always have a full family of vehicles because that’s what Australian customers want.
“Watching the Taurus/D-size segment over the last 10 years, it is getting smaller. But, having said that, that segment is still very important.
“That’s why, going back to the One Ford strategy, the decision we made five years ago was that we are going to utilise all our global assets, we are going to choose to serve all the customers around the world in all the major markets, and we are going to commit to a full line-up of vehicles.
“And that’s a very conscious strategy by Ford. We have Fiesta, Focus, Fusion/Mondeo, Taurus, Mustang, Escape, Edge, Explorer, Expedition, Ranger, F Series, E Series and Transit.
“We used to have 97 nameplates in the brand now we have only 13 on eight or nine platforms, with all the variations that customers want. And we’ll make them the same way all around the world, with the same assembly sequence, the same line suppliers. We can drive all that technology more affordably than anybody else because of that scale.”
Mr Mulally said that, while One Ford is about achieving better efficiencies in product, development and manufacturing, balancing that with the needs of the communities where Ford operates is vital.
“The entire world wants to participate in engineering and manufacturing, and this is fundamental to economic development,” he said. “Seventy per cent of all R&D is associated with manufacturing, and everybody around the world is trying to create an environment where that business (can thrive).
“(Ford) will always be looking for private and public partnerships to create a favourable environment where companies can be competitive.
“At Ford we work with local and state government to improve every element of business. And we’ve been doing that with Australia, too, in a very positive way. That’s because the synergies are so big and so important.”
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