In what many would call an inevitable outcome, Ford have anounced today that they will be closing their Australian manufacturing operations by October 2016.
Ford has a 90 history in Australia and while the head of Ford has charactised this decision as part of the natural order of things. Ford has announced that this is part of the overall strategy to revitalise their Australian business. Ford have said that they will be:
- Increasing vehicle line up by 30%
- Maintaining a significant presence in Australia
- Continuing to employ around 1500 workers in Australia mainly in research and development, design and engineering
Approximately 1200 jobs in Broadmeads and Geelong will be lost. Ford were producing around 40,000 vehicles in Australia but have recently built a plant in China capable of producing 250,000 vehicles a year
Maximise redeployment but there will be limited opportunities.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said "We will make sure you are not left behind." "We will be working with you to help you get opportunities beyond Ford". She announced an additional $10 million to assist those who work in the automotive supply chain.
Government has given $1.1 billion over the past 12 years to car manufacturing. Ford had been promised $34 million in government assistance last year. Ms Gillard confirmed that this money will still be paid.
She also announced $30 million in federal funds to build the Geelong community. The Victorian State government also committed $9 million to this fund. Ms Gillard called on Ford to make substantial contribution to the fund.