Ford Motor Co. would trim output in Australia by a third, a move that will affect 300 jobs in June. In 2013, Ford disclosed plans to close its two sites in Australia in October 2016, attributing the decision to a strong currency and high costs. General Motors Co. followed suit in December 2013 and announced that it would also terminate its car manufacturing operations in Australia by 2017.
The announcement means that by that year, Toyota Motor Corp. would become the only global carmaker producing in Australia. "We are continuing to match production with demand and that will mean we are reducing production by about a third in June with related job losses," Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood told reporters, citing slumping sales.
"We'll continue to work with the teams to get into the exact details but it will be about 300," he remarked.
Sherwood noted that Ford planned to produce through October 2016, but would "re-evaluate" the plan if there were major disruptions. Ford currently build 133 Falcon and Territory cars daily and will cut that further to around 80 in June.
Ford’s decision further raised worries that the carmaker might speed up its planned shutdown sooner than intended. David Purchase, executive director of Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce, told local media that he would be surprised if they would see a “quicker slowdown or reduction than was first envisaged."