Ford confirms Australian plant closures

Ford Australia will stop all automotive manufacturing in Australia by October 2016. As a result, 1,200 workers will lose their jobs.

Ford Australia will stop all automotive manufacturing in Australia by October 2016. As a result, 1,200 workers will lose their jobs.

The job losses will be from the company’s Broadmeadows car factory and its Geelong engine plant.

In a media conference, Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano said that the company had lost $600 million over the last five years, including $141 million after tax in the last financial year.

As AAP reports, he said that he believed costs made car manufacturing uncompetitive in Australia.

Graziano said that all 1200 will receive all entitlements owed to them and that they will be offered support over the coming three years.

"During the next three years it's our intent to manufacture [the Falcon, Territory and Falcon Ute]," he says. "We will continue to work with our workers here during that transitional phase."

"The decision was not made lightly … we understand the very real impact of this decision."

"It just doesn't make sense for us longer term."

In January last year, the federal government contributed $34 million to Ford's $103 million upgrade, and the Victorian government an unspecified amount.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Prime Minister Julia Gillard confirmed the federal government’s funding would remain because it is dedicated to new models that will continue to be produced until Ford ceases manufacturing in 2016.

In a statement, Gillard and Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said that they will be contributing almost $40 million to structural adjustment programs to support the economic development and diversification of the Geelong and northern Melbourne regions. 

The Australian Government will contribute $30 million and the Victorian Government $9 million.

The AMWU said it was taken by surprise by this morning’s announcement. Leigh Diehm, the union's Victorian assistant secretary, told ABC News 24 that the union was “in regular discussions with Ford”, but was “surprised” by the announcement.

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