This year is a desperately sad one for Australia and its automotive manufacturing history, as after more than 90 years of building products for Ford Motor Company, Australian production will cease utterly and completely in October.
It’s a big deal, but one which Ford Australia President and CEO Graeme Whickman is approaching with tact and respect for the affected workers. According to Australian website Drive, Ford’s Broadmeadows plant will have a shutdown party on October 7th, its final day of production, but it will be a very private event.
“We are not going to expose what is essentially around 800 or so individuals to anything other than the dignity and respect they deserve,” Mr. Whickman told Drive. “We’re not going to have those employees that have worked very hard for us over the years treated like they are in a fishbowl or objects of people’s idiosyncratic interest.”
Even Ford Australia’s own employees won’t be invited to the Broadmeadows shutdown party if they’re not directly impacted by the closure, says Drive, and public tours of the facility will cease months prior to the closure date. “It is not appropriate for someone to take a factory tour to go examine people who are going through a tough time,” said Mr. Whickman.
It’s been announced that Ford Australia’s You Yangs Proving Grounds will remain operational past the cessation of local production, preserving the jobs of some 300 engineers, technicians, and support staff.