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Ford Falcon sales stumble again

Down again: Ford Falcon sales appear to have hit a new July low, with about 940 sales last month.

Gloom grows over Ford Falcon as July sales slump to new mid-year low

2 Aug 2012

FORD Australia is bracing for more bad news tomorrow when official VFACTS figures are expected to show that July sales of its locally made Falcon plummeted by almost half compared with the same month last year.

Industry sources say Ford dealers managed to shift just 943 Falcon sedans last month, against 1835 in July 2011 and 2342 in July 2010.

This appears to be the worst July sales tally for Falcon since the iconic Aussie large sedan entered production in the 1960s, and almost as bad as January’s 931 units – a sorry figure that can at least be partly blamed on the traditional summer absence of business car buyers.

The latest figures will do nothing to quell rumours about the demise of Ford manufacturing in Australia, fuelled by an Australian Financial Review article quoting a corporate receiver as saying that Ford was not in talks with component makers about a new model beyond 2016, when the current Falcon reaches its use-by date.

The arrival of the four-cylinder EcoBoost Falcon this year was meant to stem the bloodletting, but appears to have failed.

To make matters worse for Ford, sales of its other locally made vehicles, the Falcon Ute and Territory SUV, were also down last month, by about 25 per cent for Territory and 12.5 per cent for the ute.

106 center imageLeft: Ford Territory.

Unofficial figures suggest Ford’s overall sales for July amounted to about 6900 units, down about 11 per cent in an overall market up about 6.0 per cent.

Rival car-maker Holden also appears to have slipped a gear, down more than 17 per cent on July last year, to about 8900 vehicles.

Like Falcon, its Commodore large car took another hit, dropping about one-third over July last year, to just 2360 vehicles.

Holden at least shifted about 4850 locally made vehicles in Australia – double Ford’s effort.

Toyota remains number one in the Australian market, with sales last month of about 17,780 – well above its July 2011 tally of 12,980 units. Back then, Japanese vehicle sales were crippled by the earthquake and tsunami.

Last month’s Toyota sales were boosted by another bumper month for HiLux, which was Australia’s top-selling vehicle in July with about 4100 sales.

Top importer Mazda appears to have secured third spot with about 7950 sales – up from last year’s 6884 – but with Hyundai not distributing its preliminary sales data, the Korean manufacturer could also be somewhere in that ballpark.

Ford is thought to be ranked about fifth, with Nissan taking sixth spot after crunching its July sales record.

Nissan trumpeted its sales performance in a media release saying its July sales were up 18 per cent year-on-year, to 6148 sales – its best for the month since it gave up manufacturing in Australia.

The company said its Navara ute, X-Trail medium SUV and Dualis compact SUV all enjoyed their best July results.

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