FORD AUSTRALIA HAS announced today that it will discontinue the Falcon wagon this year, with the last wagon to roll off the line in June.
The news follows reports last year that Ford was considering the wagon's future, Ford Australia CEO Marin Burela confirming then that a decision would be made by this past January.
In a media teleconference yesterday, Mr Burela said that after an internal review and discussions with customers, the time had come to retire the Falcon wagon, but that Ford Australia hoped to replace it with a diesel version of the Mondeo wagon - a model already available in the European market.
“It’s done an outstanding job for us over the years and has certainly delivered to customer expectation,” Mr Burela said.
“We’re very, very comfortable with the decision. It was a great car then … it still is a great car now, but we’re now moving forward.”
While the Falcon wagon has been a staple of the local Ford line-up since 1960, the current BF Mk III model - essentially an updated AU - was not replaced in the newer FG Falcon line-up.
Today, most of the Falcon wagon's sales are to fleet buyers. In all, Falcon wagon sales made up less than 2500 of the 31,000 Falcon sales in 2009.
The current model Falcon wagon is only available in the entry-level XT specification, and Ford Australia is hoping that the Mondeo's higher-spec wagon models will make the difference in coming months.
An end to the Falcon wagon has looked likely for some time, with Ford devoting little development time to the model - the current generation runs only the carmaker's older six-cylinder petrol engine or the E-Gas engine, along with the older four-speed automatic transmission.
Mr Burela said that one advantage of discontinuing the Falcon wagon and moving to the imported Mondeo wagon is that the company's Broadmeadows plant will gain capacity for other variants, including the upcoming turbocharged four-cylinder Falcon.