Ford Australia has posted a $191 million loss for 2014, with the brand's sales falling to their lowest point in 48 years. The greater part of that loss figure however is in write-downs and provisions for redundancies.
There is a silver lining to the 2014 result, however, with the past year marking an improvement on the $267 million loss recorded for 2013.
That year proved the second-worst on record for Ford, with its worst result being a $274 million loss in 2008.
Ford announced a 2016 departure from local manufacturing in mid-2013, and it appears next year cannot come soon enough if the carmaker is to get back in the black with its Australian operations.
The mounting expenses associated with closing its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants have contributed greatly to the loss, with around $167 million coming from redundancies.
Total losses for Ford in Australia over seven of the past ten years have now reached $1.3 billion. The carmaker has only clawed back minimal ground with the other three years - posting profits totalling $186 million.
Ford’s 2015 result is not looking any better at this stage, with sales to the end of April down almost 19 percent on the same four months from last year.
The carmaker sold 5163 cars last month (down 19.9 percent on April 2014), and has sold 5012 fewer cars than at the same time last year with a tally of 21,565 sales.
The Falcon in particular has failed to stir the emotions (and wallets) of Ford fans, who are staying well away from the recently facelifted and upgraded large sedan.
Eight-cylinder Falcons have proved to be the exception, but sales for the badge are still at an all-time low.
Revenue has fallen in line with sales for 2014 at $2.7 billion ($2.8 billion in 2013), but in percentage terms, Ford is making a slightly healthier profit on the vehicles it is selling.
The new Mondeo, which arrives in showrooms this month, along with the incoming Everest 4WD, updated Ranger pickup and a first-ever official offering of the Mustang pony car could reverse Ford’s fortunes as the year progresses.
The Mustang’s late arrival, however, could see it have a greater impact on 2016 sales, rather than 2015. Time will tell.
And when 2016 has come and gone - and Holden and Toyota close their local factories the following year - Ford pledges to retain the largest workforce in the local carmaking industry, with plans to continue with a sizable Australian input into global research and development for its new models.
Financial results for Holden and Toyota in 2014 are due to be released in the coming weeks - stay tuned to TMR for more.
MORE: Ford Opening New Melbourne Office, Transforming Broadmeadows Facility
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