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End of the road nears for Falcon

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End of the road nears for Falcon

JEZ SPINKS

January 12, 2010

Home-grown ... but not for much longer. Ford's FG Falcon.

THE days of producing a home-grown Falcon for the Australian market are over, says Ford's world president and chief executive, Alan Mulally.

The Falcon has been designed and engineered in Australia since the 1960s, but Mr Mulally said at the Detroit motor show that under the new "One Ford" program there would be only one large-car platform for all markets.

"The best thing for Ford is to bring our scale and volume (to the market)," Mr Mulally said. "(Car makers) who make one vehicle, a different vehicle for one country, I think those days are gone, because you can't compete with the global companies, and Ford's going to be a powerhouse globally."

Ford's large car is likely to be based on the American-designed and built front-wheel-drive Taurus, which was unsuccessfully imported into Australia in the 1990s.

Mr Mulally would not confirm if Ford Australia would play a key role in the development of the Ford global large car or whether the Falcon would continue to be built here.

Ford Australia president Marin Burela hopes his parent company will tap into Australian engineering talent, which has played a significant design and engineering role in the development of a new one-tonne utility vehicle and worked on styling projects for Ford of India.

Mr Burela said Ford was still considering whether the new large car would be driven by the front, rear or all wheels, but there was at least 12 months before a decision had to be made.

"The all-new Falcon doesn't have to come into play until the end of 2014, early 2015, and we don't have to make a decision until 2011 on what that vehicle will be, in terms of styling, technologies …" he said.

Ford Australia is adamant it can continue to make a viable business case for the Falcon, despite large-car sales continuing to shrink.

Mr Mulally said the Taurus and other Fords sold in the United States would be be available in Australia.

He left the door ajar for Ford Australia to help develop Ford's US muscle car, the Mustang, which uses the same rear-wheel-drive layout as the Falcon.

"We also have some really good RWDs, like the Mustang. You can imagine another new platform, just like the Falcon, that's going to be RWD for Mustang, so you can imagine driving the One Ford we're going to have every one of those, and so there's no reason why we can't have it in Australia."

With RICHARD BLACKBURN

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Mr Mulally Is probaly doing what's good for Ford Co. but this is sad for the Traditional Australian car. I pray that this is not the case with GM also, I've said in the past that Australian cars are more American than our curent FWD cars (a modern time capsule)

Edited by 67impss
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Mr Mulally Is probaly doing what's good for Ford Co. but this is sad for the Traditional Australian car. I pray that this is not the case with GM also, I've said in the past that Australian cars are more American than our curent FWD cars (a modern time capsule)

Yeah, it took Australia a lot longer to drink the FWD koolaid than the US. Though except for the Falcon and Commodore families of cars, the rest of AU Ford and Holden's lines are FWD...

IIRC, Ford AU tried peddling a RHD version of the '96 Taurus and it flopped after a couple years.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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Mr Mulally Is probaly doing what's good for Ford Co. but this is sad for the Traditional Australian car. I pray that this is not the case with GM also, I've said in the past that Australian cars are more American than our curent FWD cars (a modern time capsule)

With you 100% on this. I also have my doubts about any "one Ford" strategy being set in stone and inflexible.

I just can't see that as good.

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This is going to blow up in their face. They need to do what (hopefully) GM is going to do and let Australia design something and then sell it all over the globe.

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This is going to blow up in their face. They need to do what (hopefully) GM is going to do and let Australia design something and then sell it all over the globe.

There was some buzz a couple years ago about a plan to develop an enlarged RWD platform based off the Mustang to replace both the AU Falcon and the Panthers in the US. No idea if they scrapped that or have delayed that effort indefinitely.

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Anyone else remember how the first generation Escort was pitched as a "World Car" ?

That didn't work out so well...

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not many automakers "world cars" have worked out though....

sucp_0703_02_z+1972_chevy_vega+front_view.jpg

but god damn is that car beautiful!!! :wub::wub:

Edited by SuperSport623
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Anyone else remember how the first generation Escort was pitched as a "World Car" ?

That didn't work out so well...

Well, the 1st gen Focus went down that path also, was quite successful.

The Fiesta, NG Focus, and Cruze are also going down that path as well.

Many 'world cars' have been quite successful, like the Golf and Jetta, BMW 3-series (any BMW, for that matter), any Mercedes, etc.

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not many automakers "world cars" have worked out though....

but god damn is that car beautiful!!! :wub::wub:

Vega wasn't a world car...the Chevette was (T-car), but the styling and content differed wildly across markets. The J-car was similarly a world car.

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Falcon does not have an expot program like the GM Zeta models do. That makes it harder to justify a business case for the NG Falcon.

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That's true, Croc.

And it is scattershot, with a wide variety of possible outcomes rendering the headline an empty claim.

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From the rumors I have heard (fresh rumors, not the old GRWD rumors prior to the recession), the next major Falcon redesign will share a platform with the Mustang. A Thunderbird and MKR are currently being studied and will also likely share the platform. The T-bird will be a sport sedan to compete with the Dodge Charger. The time frame is sketchy...I read somewhere that the next Falcon will be out in 2015, but I don't see the Mustang being able to hold out that long, nor not having a RWD Lincoln. My guess is that when Ford returns to profitability either later this year or early next year, they will begin work on a new GRWD platform that will be ready either late 2012 or sometime in 2013.

Edited by mustang84
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Also, putting me at ease about GRWD is knowing that Ford has been listening to its customers under Mulally. The Taurus SHO and 5.0 Mustang were both the result of input from respective enthusiasts. Ford used the Fiesta Movement to tap into the desires of Gen Y. Mulally & Co. are a smart bunch....I'm sure they know people are hungering for RWD. It's just a matter of priorities at the moment.

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