Ford has announced that it will end all production in Australia in 2016, closing two plants which employ 1200 people.
It has blamed the strength of the Australian dollar, high business costs, mounting losses and a declining market. The president of Ford Australia, Bob Graziano, said: "Our costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times Ford in Asia."
The manufacturer will shut its Geelong-based engine plant and its vehicle production facility in Broadmeadows, both of which are in the state of Victoria. Dealership and development facilities will remain open, however, and Ford will become an import-only brand. Among the vehicles produced at Broadmeadows are the Fiesta and the Falcon.
Ford has been active in Australia since 1925; last year it built approximately 37,000 vehicles but suffered a loss of £93m. Graziano stated that Ford had lost, in total, £386.5m in Australia over the past five years. The strong Australian dollar has made it difficult for Ford to sell its products at a competitive price against foreign rivals.
It is expected that Ford will continue to participate in the Australian V8 Supercars series until at least 2016, despite it withdrawing its local manufacturing facilities.