The Last Falcon Ute rolls off the assembly line
An Australian icon is no more after the very last ever Ford Falcon pick-up truck rolled off the assembly line in Broadmeadows, Melbourne recently. This brings an end to the production of the much-loved Aussie ride, of which almost half a million were made in 54 years, since production began in 1961. In Australia, the local name for a pick-up truck is an Ute and the very last one was a white XR6.
Ford will cease all production in Australia in October when the two factories, Geelong and Broadmeadows, turn the lights off one final time. In total, the closure will result in 1200 job losses in a country that once had a proud car manufacturing tradition, but where now just about all the new cars available will be imports as, one by one, all manufacturing in Australia moves to other countries. Ford has moved most of its production to South East Asia, Thailand in particular, where they can gain the economy of production scale that is so needed in the modern manufacturing world.
The final Falcon will not be sold or auctioned off but be placed into the Ford historic vehicle fleet. Ford Australia’s CEO Graeme Whickman said that the final days of the factory would not be a media “fee-for-all” but a day of dignity and respect for the thousand plus workers who will be looking for alternative employment in the next few weeks.
Holden, which is owned by General Motors, has announced that it will be ceasing the production of the Cruze in Australia as well, at its Adelaide factory, come October, which will only leave Toyota still producing cars and the Japanese automaker is slated to shut up shop by the end of 2017, when some 6500 workers will lose their jobs.