Mike Stevens | Apr 14, 2010

FORD AUSTRALIA has announced today that it will upgrade its Geelong plant over the next 36 months, creating 50 new jobs at the modernised plant.

The upgrade, a $20 million investment, will ensure that production work potentially headed for China will stay in Australia. The programme will see the Geelong plant manufacturing around one million brake components each year for Bosch Chassis Systems Australia.

““It’s no secret we were looking at a range of options for the Plant, including new ownership, however after careful consideration we have a growth plan that takes the Plant to full capacity and, importantly, creates new jobs at Ford," Ford Australia CEO Marin Burela said in a statement.

“It is vital that automotive manufacturing skills remain in Australia for the viability and strength of the entire sector, and we’re very pleased the Australian and Victorian Governments have recognised this through their support.”

Under the Federal Government's Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme, the plant will also manufacture engine blocks for Ford's newly-updated and Euro IV-compliant I6 petrol engine.

The upgrade will also bring a number of environmental benefits, including an electricity efficiency gain of more than 5100kW hours a day.

Around 20 percent of all water used at the plant will be from recycled stormwater - up from 5 percent - and the use of recycled shredded metal will increase from 32 percent to 70 percent.

“Ford Australia enjoyed a strong 2009 and we’re looking even stronger in 2010. In fact we’ve had to schedule overtime days for five of the last six months to keep up with customer demand and we’re currently selling almost 100 per cent of our vehicle supply each month," Mr Burela said.

“Building on this growth, in coming months we’ll be unveiling a range of upgrades and innovations to celebrate Falcon’s 50th year, in addition to already announced enhancements such as Falcon EcoBoost and Falcon LPi.”

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