FG Falcon platform may be the base for future global RWD Ford vehicles including Lincoln Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria and Mustang
There has been much speculation regarding the future of Ford Australia’s home grown large sized Rear Wheel Drive Falcon. The Falcon has been struggling of late with sales dipping below 2000 units a month but this will improve once the FG model is launched. Nevertheless, the large car segment has been shrinking in Australia. The cost of fuel has been rising and many consumers have turned to smaller vehicles. Even Ford has had to bow to this demand and is now importing the smaller Focus and Mondeo vehicles from overseas.
So the question has been asked again; can Ford Australia continue to develop a large RWD vehicle that is unique to Australian shores without an export program?
Ford Australia have been watching arch rival GM Holden very closely and would be envious of its export program and the fact that it is essentially leading development of GM’s global large car platform via the local Commodore product. There have been numerous shots of the upcoming Chevrolet Camaro testing in Australia, and it is a clear indication that GM regards its Australian Holden arm as crucial in the global spectrum.
Ford Australia President Bill Osborne has been speculating recently that “It could be that this (FG) platform evolves to the global rear-wheel drive platform. We just don’t know. But one thing is very certain – we are consolidating platforms, and, ultimately, I believe that whatever platform that we use for rear-wheel drive products will be sold around the world.”
Clearly Ford Australia is keen to emulate Holden’s success. Ford have been producing local RWD product for over 40 years in Australia and it is well known that the current FG Falcon platform is a far better product that the US Ford Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Mustang products.
The Falcon will give up its venerable locally sourced in line 6 by 2010 and will be replaced by a new global V6 engine. Although the local engine will be missed when it is gone, the new V6 may be the dawn of a new era which helps to firmly position Ford Australia as a global player.