Ford Motor Company of Australia has announced that it intends to lay off 440 employees, or about 15% of its workforce, and reduce production by 30%, due to a decrease in popularity of the Falcon model.
The car manufacturers present in Australia have registered solid sales last year, despite the economic slowdown, and even Ford was faced with declining sales. In the past, Ford Falcon was the best selling vehicle in Australia, but now hardly enters the top 20 because the consumers prefer small cars and SUVs, including the 4WD Ford Territory model produced exclusively in Australia.
Ford Territory – The design mark
The U.S. car manufacturer announced that it would cut production in Australia from 209 vehicles per day to 148 vehicles, starting from November, in response to the change in consumer preferences, which led to a decline in sales. Last year, Ford dismissed 240 of the 3,000 employees in Australia.
Meanwhile, the Territory SUV has become one of the most popular models from the Ford Australia range, reaching 13,866 models sold in 2011. Although the car was developed entirely by the Division Australia, we should not be surprised if the next Escape (North America) and Kuga (Europe) will borrow design elements from it.
Ford Territory will receive a facelift and Ford Australian offers a first teaser photo. The new SUV has an impressive kinetic design, that makes it immediately recognizable as part of the Ford family. It also provides the first clues to the future design style of the global SUV from Ford, according to the Australian press release. The new “facelifted” SUV went into production in the second half of 2012 and will be sold as a 2013 model.
“Ford Territory set a new standard when it was first launched on the market and will do the same thing again,” said Bob Graziano, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Australia.
Ford has not decided yet whether the Kuga and Escape models will keep their name, or if they will share the same name when the next generation of mid-range SUV will be launched. According to the Ford One strategy, the American manufacturer will use a single name for vehicles sold in different regions, as it does with the Focus and Fiesta models.
Ford Territory via | Ford Australia