The vultures are circling and waiting intently for the Ford Falcon to finally drop off its perch.
When it does they may just be getting a second helping from the big Holden as well.
Ford Australia today announced 440 workers on the company’s production lines would be let go and with sales of large Australian built sedans tanking in recent years it seems it’s only a matter of time before both models, as we know them, cease to exist.
For the record Ford’s Australian production at present is limited to just the Falcon and the Territory, every other Ford including the popular Focus is manufactured overseas.
If it weren’t for the popularity of the Territory, which shares many Falcon components, then a locally designed and built Falcon may well have gone by the wayside already.
Ironically when the Falcon and its arch-rival the Commodore were an almost “must have” for Australian families they were generally pretty terrible.
Growing up we had a Falcon station wagon and much of the 1985 built vehicle harked back to Falcon models 25 years earlier than that.
The Falcon in particular in 2012 is well and truly punching above its weight and reasonable price tag especially the 4-cylinder Ecotec version.
But alas we don’t care, Australians today have a plethora of choice and you can’t blame buyers for moving towards SUV’s or people movers for families, or the vastly improved (and Australian built) Camry, or models such as the Hyundai Elantra or Holden Cruze.
It used to also be that every sales rep and taxi driver had the keys to a Falcon or Commodore as well, even these sales are down as models such as the Prius have stacked up better on the balance sheet.
The sad fact is the market has grown-up and changed and in 2012 the Falcon and the Commodore just aren’t pulling in the dollars to cover the massive cost of designing and building new models down-under.
Brace for the day when both of the icons (in whatever form they may be in) arrive here by boat.