Not such a great news day for Blue Oval fans and the Australian car industry in general. In response to the continuing decline of the large car segment in Australia, Ford has announced that it will be cutting 300-350 jobs, or about 15 per cent of its current workforce.
Ford spokeswoman Sinead McAlary, explained that the job loses would be voluntary and split evenly between the Geelong and Broadmeadows plants. The cuts will begin around mid-November.
â€œWe expect the total industry to soften for the second half of this year, It started in July and we anticipate that weâ€™ll see more of these actions across the industry for the rest of this year.â€ McAlary said.
Increasing fuel prices and an unstable economy have seen July sales of Ford's Territory wagon drop from 1555 to 1028, when compared to the same month last year. Sales of Fordâ€™s new FG Falcon have been reasonable, but not strong enough to justify current production levels. The job cuts will see production of Ford Falcons and Territorys drop from 52 units per hour to 40 units per hour. The result is a drop in daily output from 365 to 285 units.
Todayâ€™s news follows Ford's announcement earlier this year that 600 jobs will be lost at its Geelong engine plant, when production of the Falcon and Territoryâ€™s six-cylinder engine ceases in 2010.
With large car sales on the slide, there has been one piece of positive news for Ford this year, and thatâ€™s the promise that local production of the Ford Focus small car will begin around 2011, with initial expectations being the creation of some 300 jobs.