Ford quits Australia

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Ford quits Australia

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Ford is to shut its two Australian production plants after 90 years of making cars there.

It blamed the strength of the Australian dollar, along with high costs, particularly wages.

The factories will close in just over three years time with the loss of 1,200 jobs.

One Ford worker was bitter about the closures, but had expected them: “To be quite truthful, shocked but not surprised. It’s a flow-on effect when our government lowers our tariff protections.”

Ford said it has no choice as production costs in Australia are twice that of Europe and nearly four times higher than in Asia.

Ford Australia President Bob Graziano told reporters: “Our locally made products continue to be unprofitable, while our imported products are profitable. In the search to improve scale and competitiveness, we explored what export opportunities might be available to us. But we were still faced with the fact that our cost structure in Australia remained uncompetitive.”

“We came to this conclusion only after thoroughly reviewing our business and exhausting all other alternatives,” he added.

Losses by Ford Australia were the equivalent of 450 million euros over the last five years.

Around 1,500 employees, including dealers and those in product development, will continue working for the company after production ends in October 2016.