Ford Australia has finally sold three facilities that it used in auto production in Australia. Those facilities include the Broadmeadows car assembly line and both the Geelong engine and stamping plants. The facilities went to the same buyer, the Pelligra Group based out of Melbourne, Australia.
That same group purchased the derelict Holden factory in Adelaide in late 2017. The three former Ford Australia manufacturing facilities will have been idle since production stopped in 2016. The plan for the facilities is to sub-divide them into technology parks and light industrial precincts. The Pelligra Group developers say that the move will initially create 2,000 jobs and boost business opportunities in both Geelong and Broadmeadows.
The Pelligra Group intends to rename the facilities with a nod to their heritage. The names will be Fortek Geelong and Assembly Broadmeadows. The developer dubbed the former Holden factory Lion’s Gate as a reference to the lion in the holden logo. Before the Geelong factory closed in 2016, it has a long history with Ford as the first factory that Ford Australia opened in 1925.
The Broadmeadows factory opened in 1959 ahead of the start of Ford Falcon production in 1960. It’s unclear what the sales price for the buildings was. The Pelligra Group has stated that it has $500 million committed to the new industrial areas. It says that ultimately its plans for the former Ford facilities will deliver 4,000-5,000 jobs in the next five to ten years. The first manufacturing tenants are expected to start operating at the facilities within a year.
Ford is closing factories around the world to boost profits. It is trying to sell its largest factory in Brazil with local manufacturer CAOA in talks with a partner to acquire that facility. Ford also plans to close three Russian factories.