We’ve bad news if you’re a Ford fan in Australia: The company has announced it is to end all production in the region from 2016, shutting two plants in the process.
The company blames high business costs in the region, the strength of the Australian dollar, a declining market and mounting losses. Highlighting the scale of its problems, Ford Australia boss, Bob Graziano, said the company’s costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times that of Ford in Asia.
Ford will shut its engine facility in Geelong and its vehicle production plant in Broadmeadows, Victoria, which employ 1,200 people between them. Around 1,500 employees will continue working for the company after the last Australian-made car rolls off the produciton line.
Last year, Ford built around 37,000 vehicles in Australia but lost £93m in the process. The company has lost a whopping £386.5m in the last five years. Dealerships and development facilities will stay open, but customers that want new cars will have to have them imported from overseas once local inventory has expired.
“We understand the very real impact that this will have on our team,” Ford Australia president Bob Graziano told reporters at the company’s Melbourne plant. “We came to this conclusion only after thoroughly reviewing our business and exhausting all other alternatives.”
Ford began making cars in Australia in 1925 and is the third-largest car maker in the country.