Archive, Product News

Ford in Australian light commercial push

New effort revealed at launch of post-Australian production vision, though Transit specs were scarce

By Matt Wood | August 14, 2013

In the wake of Ford Australia announcing the demise of local car production, the global car and light commercial giant has launched its vision for the immediate future and beyond.

Under the banner of “Go Further”, local and global company management in Sydney yesterday unveiled a revised range of passenger and light commercial vehicles to Asia Pacific dealers and media, amidst a light show spectacular at Sydney’s Fox Studios.

The “One Ford” plan shone a spotlight on the company’s move to global platforms, with the Ford line up to consist of 11 global vehicles by 2017.

Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano was at pains to point out the global contribution that Ford’s local design team has made to Ford’s worldwide model range.

Specifically, these are the Ranger utility, which is now sold in 180 countries, and the Indian Ford Figo micro car, both designed at Ford’s Melbourne design studio.

Ford Motor Company President and CEO Allan Mulally echoed the sentiment, saying: “We are committing to Australia being one of our product development centres of excellence, where designers and engineers create technologies for the world.”

Mulally was also keen to emphasise Ford’s last 16 quarters of profitability citing the company’s “One Ford Plan” as the driver of profitable growth.

While the expanded and revamped car and SUV line up caught the attention of many present, the commercial side of the business also shared the spotlight with a first Australian glimpse of the new Ford Transit launched in Europe last year.

Ford has seen a 50 per cent
rise in sales of light commercial vehicles over the last financial year.

Ford Motor Company COO Mark Fields announced Ford’s intention to
“re-establish its presence in Australia’s light van and bus segment”.

Ford remains tight lipped on the definite local specifications of the new Transit Custom and Transit Cargo.

The emphasis on the all-new Transit has been to date focused on the car like interior and reported driving dynamics of the new vans.

However, there are likely to be a choice of diesel power plants and possibly even an EcoBoost petrol variant.

Look out for our Vans Special Feature in an upcoming edition of ATN.

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