History of Ford in Australia
Ford Motor Company traces its Australian roots all the way back to 1925, during the Roaring Twenties. Initially set up in Geelong, Victoria, Ford Australia’s first production model was the Model T, followed subsequently by Model A and the Ford V8 in 1932.
In 1934, Ford Australia released its latest coupe utility. This move came as a result of the Great Depression, when banks ceased to lend loans to consumers who wanted to buy ‘passenger cars’-in the belief that it was an extravagance not in keeping with the trying times that were then prevailing. The coupe utility was modeled as a ‘working vehicle’ designed to be the new workhorse of farmers.
During WWII, which broke out in 1939, and continued all the way up to 1945, Ford Australia ceased production of automobiles in order to help with the war effort. Japan’s threat to Australia loomed dangerously, and the Commonwealth was taking a severe beating from the combined forces of Germany and Italy in the Western sphere.
However, after the war, Ford recommenced production, releasing a range of models such as the Prefect, Consul, Zodiac and Zephyr. But Ford Australia’s piece de resistance was undoubtedly the Ford Falcon. Released by Ford Australia in 1960, the Ford Falcon was almost unanimously declared, and still continues to be, the most popular model Ford Australia ever produced.
The Ford Falcon’s versatility and tailor-made customization to suit Australian conditions has introduced it into various spheres of Australian vehicular functions. From taxi cabs to police vehicles, all the way to family sedans, the Ford Falcon has dominated the Australian market. Of course, its major competitor has been the GM Holden Commodore, another worthy contender for the title of ‘Most Popular Australian automobile’. Recently, Ford Australia expanded its base to the SUV category, releasing the Ford Territory in 2004. The Ford Territory has been widely acclaimed as one of the most popular SUVs currently available in Australia.
However, in recent years, Ford Australia has experienced numerous difficulties in maintaining its profits in the country. Despite subsidies from the government and numerous trims in the workforce, Ford Australia finally announced its decision to quit the Australian market on May, 2013. Though this comes as upsetting news to numerous Ford supporters in Australia, of which there are legion, Ford Australia’s run has been remarkable, keeping its humble beginnings and the cut-throat competition in mind.
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