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Ford Australia to become product development hub

Ford Australia’s local operations are set to become a vital part of the Ford empire, developing and engineering vehicles for the world.

FORD AUSTRALIA has announced its Asia-Pacific Engineering Centre Broadmeadows will evolve into a product development hub while a new national sales office will be opened in Melbourne (pictured). This announcement of Ford Australia’s reimagining as a product development and engineering hub means the Blue Oval will become the only brand capable of developing and engineering vehicles in Australia.

“The transformation of Ford’s Head Office into the Asia-Pacific Engineering Centre will signal that we will be the only automotive company that can fully develop vehicles in Australia,” said Bob Graziano, President and CEO, Ford of Australia.

“The national sales company in Victoria Gardens, leveraging our outstanding product line-up, will focus on delivering Australia’s best automotive consumer experience.”

According to Ford, once it, Holden and Toyota cease local production in 2017, the Blue Oval will become the “country’s largest auto company after 2017 with a 1500-strong workforce. This team will continue to design, engineer and test vehicles with leading quality, fuel economy, safety and smart technologies for customers around the world. No other automotive company will approach this level of local innovation,” Ford said in a statement.

“Ford is investing heavily in innovation and our Australian team will be a key part of delivering even more advanced vehicles in the future as one of our four engineering centre’s of excellence globally,” said Graydon Reitz, Ford’s Melbourne-based Director of Engineering and Product Development in Asia Pacific.  “No other auto company is investing this heavily in Australia.”

The new office offers more fundamental cultural changes as a modern facility with a combination of fixed offices, flexible work spaces and open office floor plan as well as spaces for collaboration, brainstorming and innovation.

“Ford’s new vehicles are widely being credited for competing with the best products in the world,” said Graeme Whickman, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Australia.

“As we roll out even more stylish, innovative vehicles, we are investing heavily to transform our customer experience so people who fall in love with our vehicles stay in love with them for many years.”

Coming this year:

2015 Ford Mondeo: The all-new Mondeo mid-size sedan arrives early in 2015 and “will feature at least 10 advanced technologies not available on the Camry, including a diesel model that will be more fuel efficient than Camry Hybrid”.

2015 Ford Kuga: The newly launched Ford Kuga will be refreshed in early 2015 with new EcoBoost technology available.

2015 Ford Focus: A refreshed version of the popular car arrives in the middle of the year and will include a refreshed performance Focus ST.

All-New Ford Everest: The Australian designed and engineered Everest will be launched later this year.

2015 Ford Ranger: A refreshed version of the Australian-created Ranger will arrive in this year with Ford hoping it will continue to cut Toyota Hilux’s sales lead – it’s slashed the iconic Toyota’s lead by more than 40% since 2011.

All-new Mustang: The most advanced version yet of the iconic pony car, offering more advanced driver-assist technology than any other car in its class, a new turbocharged EcoBoost® 2.3-litre and an upgraded 5.0-litre V8 with more than 320kW.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober