Ford’s new FG Falcon MkII EcoBoost vehicle is rolling off production lines in Victoria, representing a new class of 'fuel efficient' vehicles entering the market.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, says the new car highlights Australia’s impressive automotive manufacturing capabilities, answering demand for more fuel efficient vehicles.
The car was manufactured in Geelong following a $42 million government grant allocated in 2009, forming part of the company’s $232 million sustainability initiative, which over the years has seen the development of the new Falcon EcoLPi and a diesel-powered Territory.
In January this year, the government handed over a further $34 million from the existing New Car Plan, to help Ford further improve its production facilities.
Ford’s head office in Detroit also gave the manufacturer $103 to help it gear up for increased consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Ford’s global big-wigs have claimed the grant will ensure the future of Ford’s Australian manufacturing operations until at least 2016.
According to Combet, the new Ecoboost Falcon is a boon for Australian industry, creating jobs and competition in the market.
“Today’s launch is a demonstration of the Gillard Government’s commitment to strengthening the competitiveness of the Australian automotive industry,” Combet said.
“The Falcon EcoBoost is a great example of what the local auto industry can do. Support from the Commonwealth has enabled Ford to engineer, develop, validate and manufacture a quality product here in Australia.”
The Falcon XT EcoBoost reportedly consumes only 8.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, and produces only 192g/km of CO2, which Ford says reduced emissions by 18% when compared to the company’s existing six cylinder petrol engine.
“The Falcon EcoBoost is another example of local car manufacturers responding to consumer demand for fuel efficient vehicles,” Combet said.
The past year has been extremely difficult for local car manufacturers, with decreased export demand and the high Australian dollar forcing the industry to shed workers.
In March last year, Ford forced approximately 1,500 workers to take pay cuts at its manufacturing facilities in Victoria, with the car-maker announcing it will temporarily shut-down its car manufacturing operations due to lack of demand.
The following month, Ford made 240 workers redundant due to plummeting demand for its cars in Australia. The company cited ‘commercial decisions’ for the move, claiming it needed to ‘re-balance its operations to meet the demands of the market’.