Australia’s famous RWD 6-cylinder cars are under attack from high fuel prices. Aussies are moving to smaller cars and smaller engines and it’s just not worth building them locally when you can import them without the added production costs. The current inline six will be replaced with a new global Duratec V6 engine, including high performance derivatives, for use in the company's locally made Falcon, Falcon Ute and Territory model lines. Sadly, this means the current factory will be shuttered in 2010, leaving 600 workers out of jobs.
Changes in car buying culture have seen sales of locally produced vehicles as a percentage of the total industry in Australia fall from 36.1% in 1998 to 19.4% so far in 2007, and then there’s the drop in demand for the large cars. Despite this, Ford will continue to invest in Australian production, with the confirmation that the construction of a new R&D centre would continue as planned.