The boss of Ford’s Australian division, Bob Graziano, ended months of silence on the fate of the Ford Falcon
by confirming that a new generation of the large sedan will be launched in the Australian market in 2014. Graziano made the confirmation at the 2012 Australian Motor Show
earlier today, where a sketch of the future model was briefly shown during a video presentation.
A source has told Motor Authority that the styling of the car has been heavily influenced by the sleek look of the 2013 Ford Fusion
, which will also be sold in Australia where it will be badged as a Mondeo. It’s been suggested that the next Falcon will essentially be a rebadged version of the next-generation Ford Taurus, which is already testing in prototype form and is also said to look a lot like the Fusion.
Ford hasn’t mentioned whether it plans to produce the next Falcon in Australia, but with the Blue Oval recently announcing its new One Manufacturing plan
for the streamlining of its plants around the globe, it’s looking almost certain that small-scale production of the Falcon in Australia will be over with the arrival of the new 2014 model. Currently, Ford is committed to producing cars in Australia only until 2016 based on its co-investment deal with the Australian government. It builds the Falcon sedan as well as a crossover derivative, the Territory, at its Australian production facility.
With production of the Falcon possibly set to end in Australia, it could mean that Ford will simply ship its next-generation Taurus, which ties in with the previous speculation of the new Falcon simply being a rebadged Taurus. Of course, this would mean that the Falcon’s rear-wheel drive days will soon be over, as the next Taurus is likely to maintain an all-wheel drive setup.
Sales of large sedans in the Australian market have been on the decline for the past several years as consumers either downsize or switch over to crossovers and SUVs. Production at Ford’s Australian facility is currently set to annual rate of just 33,000 cars.
Should production finally end, Ford’s Aussie outcrop is expected to be retained as a design and engineering post.
Stay tuned for an update.