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Wagons ho! Ford Territory shipped

Up and running: Ford's Territory update is hitting showrooms after being delayed by a software glitch in the Interior Command Centre.

New Ford Territory rolls out of factory after delay to fix computer glitch

Ford logo8 Jun 2011

FORD’S long-awaited facelifted Territory is rolling out to showrooms after a last-minute hiccup that forced a one-week delay while engineers corrected a software glitch.

The company was scheduled to start shipping stocks of the big home-grown SUV to dealers in May after a protracted six-month launch teaser campaign, but concerns about an issue with the new Interior Command Centre (ICC) in the new SZ range meant vehicles were stockpiled until last week.

Ford Australia public affairs director Sinead McAlary told GoAuto that the ICC – which controls the air-conditioning, audio, Bluetooth, satellite navigation, reversing sensors and other functions – needed minor software calibrations.

“We needed to make sure all the different systems that need to talk with one another were talking under a whole range of circumstances,” she said.

“Because it is a very sophisticated system, we just really wanted to make sure that, unlike what has happened to some of our competitors who have tried to launch similar systems, that our customers don’t have any problems.” Ms McAlary said Ford was holding 700 orders for the new Territory, which was being shipped to dealers in both petrol and diesel variants.

27 center imageLeft: New Ford Territory interior. Middle: Territory exterior diesel badging. Bottom: Ford Falcon Eco LPI.

She said dealers were anxious to get their hands on the new model, as they had customers wanting to test drive it.

Ford’s corporate website says the new model goes on sale in June 2011.

The new model – particularly the 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel TDCi – can’t come soon enough for the dealers who moved just 480 run-out Territorys last month – half the volume of the same month in 2010.

Holden, by contrast, sold more than 1600 Captivas, including 1010 Captiva 7s – the model that sells against the Territory in the medium SUV class.

Ms McAlary said Ford had basically cleared its stocks of the previous SY Territory, clearing the decks for the fresh range.

“Everything is pretty much gone,” she said “If you saw our Territory numbers during May, they are pretty much some of the last ones left.” Ms McAlary said the sales situation for Ford’s other Australian-built car, the Falcon, was also “looking up” this month, pointing to an improved sales performance by Ford in June and July.

Along with big stockpiles of Territory awaiting launch, Ford Australia’s Campbellfield factory in Victoria has been weighed down with paddocks of Falcons due to a slump in sales.

In May, Falcon sales were down almost 60 per cent on the corresponding month last year, with just 1331 units registered across Australia. Year to date, Falcon is down 45.8 per cent, while the Falcon Ute is also down 32 per cent.

Ford has cut production at the factory to help rein in the over-stocking, with “down days” scheduled each week since March.

From mid July, the factory is expected to resume five-day a week production, but at a rate of 209 vehicles per day on a single shift.

Ford has been hamstrung by the absence of a factory-fitted LPG Falcon due to the previous version not meeting Euro 4 emissions regulations that came into force on July 1 last year.

That situation will be rectified in July with the arrival of Ford’s new-generation dedicated Liquid Phase Injection (LPI) system for Falcon.

As well, a facelifted Falcon is also in the pipeline for launch in September or October, but as GoAuto reported in March, the much-promoted four-cylinder EcoBoost Falcon will now not arrive until early 2012.

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