Word is now out that Ford Australia are considering replacing their current in-line six-cylinder with an imported V6 mainly to ensure compliance with the Euro IV emissions laws being introduced on the 1st July 2010.
Ford are believed to be considering a number of options, including continuing with the current engine and developing it further to ensure Euro IV compliance, importing assembled V6 engines or importing the V6 engine parts and assembling them in Australia.
This obviously comes as a huge shock to the Ford workers in Geelong, 600 of whom work at the Geelong based engine plant assembling the current in-line six for Falcon and Territory.
Go-Auto report that their source has suggested that Ford have already signed off on whatever decision has been made. With only three years before Euro IV becomes law and the Falcon ???Orion??? currently undergoing testing you would expect that Ford would have made their decision by now.
When asked yesterday if their plan was to cease production of the Geelong built in-line six-cylinder, Ford declined to confirm that any decision had been made.
"We are looking at a range of different alternatives across a number of different areas of our business to ensure we can remain competitive in terms of features and technology we offer and pricing into the future. Nothing has been decided at this point." said Ford company spokeswoman Sinead McAlary
Ian Jones, the federal secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union vehicle division met with Ford managers yesterday and also put the question to them.
"We put to them quite directly whether or not it was their intention to stop manufacturing an in-line six-cylinder in Australia and replace it with an imported V6 engine. They indicated to us it was a matter they were looking at but had yet made no formal decision on???, said Ian Jones
We suspect that Ford have already decided to terminate production of their in-line six-cylinder over the next few years or possibly sooner. Generally, once the public become aware of a decision like this being made it is already a done deal and only becoming public knowledge in an effort to soften the eventual blow.
If an announcement is made confirming the demise of Ford???s in-line six-pot we will take a look at how losing the venerable 4.0-litre may affect the new Falcon Orion and what will become of the current turbo six-cylinder models. There are obvious benefits to be obtained from a more modern all-alloy compact V6 engine and we can look at this in more depth when we have some idea which V6 engine they have their eye on???or not.
Sources : The Age, GoAuto