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16 AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET MAGAZINE JULY 2013
FORD WINDS UP AUSTRALIAN
MANUFACTURING IN OCTOBER 2016
About 1200 workers at Ford’s Broadmeadow and Geelong plants will lose their jobs
when the company closes its local manufacturing operations in October 2016.
Ford cited the high cost of manufacturing,
increasingly challenging market conditions and
a $600 million loss over the last five years for
the decision to stop making its Falcon and
Territory models in Australia.
The company has guaranteed that all
entitlements for the 1200 employees whose jobs
are affected will be protected and pledged to
provide support for those who will be made
redundant over the next three years.
“All of us at Ford remain committed to our
long history of serving Australian customers with
the very best vehicles that deliver cutting edge
technology at an affordable cost,” Ford Australia
President and CEO, Bob Graziano, said.
“Unfortunately, due to challenging market
conditions we are unable to do that longer-term
while continuing to manufacture locally.”
Ford Australia posted an after-tax operating
loss of $141 million for the 2012 financial year
and the company’s 2011 loss was $290 million.
“We know this announcement is very
difficult, especially for our employees,” Mr
“Providing support to those in our team
whose roles will be affected is a key priority for
us during this three-year transition period.”
Despite pulling its manufacturing operations
from the country, Ford said its commitment to
Australia remains strong.
“Ford will remain a significant employer in
Australia, with more than 1500 team members,
as will our network of more than 200 dealers
around the country,” Mr Graziano said.
“The Australian team’s role as a global centre
of excellence for vehicle development also will
continue to be an important focus for us.”
A company statement said viable alternatives
were evaluated after business scenarios were
reviewed over the last year before the decision to
shut down manufacturing was made.
These included manufacturing various types
and combinations of vehicles for local sale as
well as the viability of a significant export
According to Ford, the scenarios investigated
also included varying levels of government
support, manufacturing cost reductions and
“Given the fragmented marketplace and the
low model volumes that result, we decided that
manufacturing locally is no longer viable,” Mr
Ford will proceed with plans to launch
updated versions of the Falcon, Falcon ute and
Territory in 2014 and introduce at least one
more imported model on top of the Kuga,
Ranger and Focus by 2016.
“Ford vehicles have been part of the
automotive landscape in Australia for almost
110 years and we have manufactured here since
1925,” Mr Graziano said.
“We are proud of that history. We are proud
of our role in Australia and we haven’t made this
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING COMPANY
REQUESTS TEMPORARY LIQUIDATOR
Israel-based electric car charge network company Better Place has begun proceedings to wind up the business, requesting the
appointment of a temporary liquidator through an Isreali court.
Better Place, which offers a private
charging package and access to an electric
vehicle charging spot network to electric
vehicle owners for a fee, has an Australian
business but it has been reported that the local
operation was downsized earlier this year.
In its motion to the court, Better Place
stated that it had failed to raise additional
funds and “in the absence of sufficient
resources for the continued operation of the
business, the company is asking for the court’s
assistance in protecting the rights of its
employees, customers and creditors”.
“Over the past six months, Better Place’s
management has made fundamental changes
in the company, focused its strategy, goals and
markets and at the same time has continued to
seek additional financing for the business and
secure additional models to supplement its
current offer,” a statement from the company
“Despite significant efforts over that time
frame, revenues are still insufficient to cover
operating costs, and in the light of the
continued negative cash flow position, the
board has decided that it has no option but to
seek to make this application to the courts for
an orderly liquidation of the company.”
Former Australian politician Evan Thornley
replaced Shai Agassi, the founder of Better
Place, as the company’s global CEO late last
year, but according to Crikey resigned only
months later due to the strategic change to its
The company’s Board of Directors
described the application to the court as “a
very sad day for all of us”.
“We stand by the original vision as
formulated by Shai Agassi of creating a green
alternative that would lessen our dependence
highly polluting transportation
technologies,” the statement read.
“While he was able with partners and
investors to overcome multiple challenges to
demonstrate that it was possible to deliver a
technological solution that would fulfil that
“Unfortunately, the path to realising that
vision was difficult, complex and littered with
obstacles, not all of which we were able to
“The technical challenges we overcame
successfully, but the other obstacles we were
not able to overcome, despite the massive
effort and resources that were deployed to that
“The most important thing of all was that
the intention was the right one.
“The purpose and concept of the business
was to deliver a positive change in the world
in which we live... the vision is still valid and
important and we remain hopeful that
eventually the vision will be realized for the
benefit of a better world.
“However, Better Place will not be able to
take part in the realisation of this vision.”
AAAM JULY 2013:AM MAGAZINE SHELL 2/7/13 9:58 AM Page 16
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