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Ford tells of Vic plant closures and possible job losses
14/06/2012 - Ford will shut down its Australian car-making operations for a week and consider possible job cuts as sales stall.
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The company is facing a 24 per cent slump in year-on-year Falcon sales and a massive $290 million annual loss announced last month.
Ford on Wednesday said it will now have to close the Broadmeadows and Geelong plants in Victoria for seven days in July, coming just three months after 1800 workers were stood down for three days when a key supplier went into administration.
The car-maker has also not ruled out future job cuts while adjusting to current market conditions, said company spokeswoman Sinead Phipps.
"We remain committed to our strategy of matching production to market demand," she said.
"We have also confirmed that we are looking at a number of alternatives to allow us to manage our production schedule through the rest of this year, including additional down days or the possibility of a down balance (to produce less vehicles per day)."
Management has been meeting with union leaders as workplace negotiations continue, though no decisions have been finalised.
In one hopeful sign, Ford's sales of Focus, Ranger and Territory models jumped 70 per cent over last year's figures.
But this change still failed to compensate for the decline in interest for its well-known fleet of large-model cars.
Earlier this year, Ford received more than $100 million from the federal and Victorian governments to ensure the company keeps its Melbourne operations going until at least 2016.
Ford cut 240 jobs at its Australian operations last year.
Union representatives and the Victorian government were unavailable for immediate comment.
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Hedley James | 15/06/2012 11:57 1
I drive an AU111 wagon, dedicated LPG, that now has 390,000kms on the clock and I claim it is the cheapest car that I have had so far. Maybe very close to my VU Holden workshop ute that also has high 430,000kms so far. But whereas the Ford has still not had the head off, let alone an engine recondition, the Holden had an engine at 396,000kms. I can replace the brakes, the exhaust system, transmission, the drive shaft, front end overhaul, or whatever, real cheap and I can buy the bits anywhere in the country. That is, when they wear out. I say to Ford Management: study the maintenance AND running costs of your competitors and learn something about the engineering in your Ford. Your marketing stinks. You just don't hand out the right message about your car. And what do I do for a living? My business is in engineering and engine reconditioning/car maintenance. Get a good look at the running costs for a modern European car. And as for comparing LPG against Diesel? Ford: DO THE SUMS like $4200.00 for a DPF (diesel exhaust filter)and $12500,00 for an engine. I couldn't afford to do it. But my Ford (and Holden) are the "working man's cars as I see it. Your Marketing Dept. just doesn't understand that.
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