Ford Australia have just confirmed that it is no longer offering an optional V8 engine in its Fairlane and Falcon ranges. If you are a Ford fan donâ€™t die from shock just yet, this decision is limited to the imported 5.4-litre three-valve per cylinder overhead camshaft V8 that was an option for Falcon and Fairlane, not the locally assembled four-valve version of the same engine found in the XR8 and FPV GT models.
Fordâ€™s Essex plant in Ontario Canada, responsible for the supply of the three-valve V8 has been closed as part of Fordâ€™s ongoing restructuring. While this is the main reason for the three-valve V8â€™s exclusion from the options list, Ford Australia President Tom Gorman has also pointed out the recent poor sales record for the V8 powerplant.
â€œWe were down to about 10 a month, so it is not going to be a major impact on the business,â€ said Ford Australia president Tom Gorman.
I suspect that the old three-valve V8 will disappear into the night with narry a whisper.
Ford Australia have also announced that they are no longer including a full-size spare wheel as standard fitment on their Falcon sedan and wagon models. You can no-doubt remember the fuss when Holden dropped the full-size spare for a space-saver in the VE Commodore and a similar media fuelled frenzy is expected following Fordâ€™s decision.
I personally donâ€™t understand what all of the fuss is about. The majority of Australiaâ€™s population is centered around urban regions and when was the last time you had a flat? For this writer it was about 12 years agoâ€¦touch wood. Those few Australians who genuinely do travel vast distances will still be able to option a steel rimmed 16-inch spare for $100 or a full-size alloy spare for $250 (down from $400).
The Falcon Ute and Territory SUV will continue to be equipped with a full size spare as standard.
â€œWe have looked at where the customer is and the customer doesnâ€™t value it. As part of the value equation we have created with Falcon, you look at everything that we have done it terms of price realignment plus content additions. This is consistent with the overall strategy to give the customer what they really valueâ€, said Mr Gorman
Ford cite a weight saving of 5kgs which benefits fuel efficiency but admit the main reason behind the change is cost reduction. Ford having recently dropped prices across the board for Falcon in an effort to keep sales bubbling along in the lead-up to Orion and are obviously reviewing every dollar.
Time will tell if adopting a space-saver spare for Falcon will attract the huge media scrutiny that it did when Holden introduced the concept on their VE Commodore. Maybeâ€¦just maybe, the mainstream media will realize that nobody actually gives a toss.