Ford reiterated its commitment to continue its Australian manufacturing operations until October 2106, as it released the last ever Ford Falcon.
Amid speculation that Ford and the other two remaining local car makers, Holden and Toyota, could call it a day earlier than first planned, Motoring.com.au reports that Ford said that it will stick to its planned departure date.
Ford Australia's general manager marketing David Katic said that there are commercial reasons as well as reasons of integrity to continue making Falcon and Territory vehicles for another two years.
"Firstly there is a market there for them and we have a lot of loyal Falcon, Territory and Ute owners who are very interested in these cars and that is a very critical point for us,” he told motoring.com.au .
"If we closed down the day we announced, well we would have had to replace those cars tomorrow. So it was important that we continue to fill that customer demand, albeit at lower levels than 30 years ago, when we used to sell hundreds of thousands of Falcons and [Holden] Commodores."
Adding that integrity was also behind the decision, Katic said that the company wants to “… give all of our employees and all of our customers time to make the changes that needed to be made and we are fulfilling those obligations.”
In addition, Ford received $34m from the Federal Government to help develop the FG X and SZ II vehicles. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of the assistance deal would involve penalties for Ford.
The last ever Ford Falcon went into production in Victoria this week and demand is currently outstripping supply.
Nevertheless, the company plans to produce only 83 cars a day. That number could rise if demand is high enough.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that in coming months Ford Australia plans to employ 150 former Holden engineers to develop new cars for China.
200 engineers were sacked by Holden last week and 400 more will lose their jobs by 2017.