Ford Australia Vows To Continue Operations As GM Shutters Holden

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Ford Australia has reassured the Australian government that it is in the country to stay. Ford’s comments come after General Motors announced this week that it would shutter the iconic Australian brand Holden and shut down all Australian operations. GM’s move will see about 600 employees lose their jobs.

Ford says that not only will it stay in Australia, but that it may be able to offer jobs to some of Holden’s laid-off workers. Following GM’s surprise announcement, Federal Industry Minister Karen Andrews called Ford Australia and New Zealand president and CEO Kay Hart to inquire about the stability of Ford’s Australian arm. Andrews says that Hart indicated very clearly that Ford was as committed as ever to Australia and that it intends to continue its investment in the country.

Ford no longer has any manufacturing operations in Australia as both it and Holden ended those operations years ago. Ford does retain workers within Australia and is the largest automotive employer in the country. The automaker currently has over 2,000 engineers, designers, and technical and automotive specialists working across four different locations in Victoria. Ford also noted that it plans to invest $500 million in its Australian operations in 2020.

Hart noted that Ford had a big design and engineering team in Australia, hinting that some of the displaced Holden workers with expertise in those fields could find positions with Ford. She said that Ford was hiring at the moment and that she felt sure there was “great talent” in that Holden team. Hart also pointed out that Ford has one of the top-selling vehicles in Australia with the Ranger mid-sized pickup that is designed and engineered in the country. Some have reservations about Ford’s commitment to Australia with a journalist called Toby Hagon pointing out that Holden said the same thing only a week ago.

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Source: ABC.net.au

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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  1. Fords are quite popular in Australia. They got many cool ford cars that America never got to experience. Wonder if there ever was a plan to import the Falcon as a 4 door performance sedan.

  2. Both Ford and GM missed the mark on what could have been saving graces for both companies. Had both companies not been so short sighted, they could have rocked the entire world. I’ve ranted on several different articles about Ford’s performance presence overseas with cars like the Falcon, the MK2 Focus, the Explorer ST, the Ranger Raptor, the Ecoboost Program, the Barra I-6 Turbo engines and several other things but GM had an equally strong overseas performance presence in Holden and Vauxhall. The Monaro, the VXR-8/Commodore, the Holden Colorado and the Holden Trailblazer could have and should have saved GM from being where it’s at. GM has been in so much hot water and hasn’t found it’s way out of the hole it’s been in ever since it fell on hard times. GM was right for cutting brands but GM has been cutting the wrong brands since it has started with this strategy and it’s still doing the same thing. Although it’s too late for the company to turn around and fix it’s mistakes, GM should have NEVER gotten rid of Pontiac. They were smart for getting rid of Saturn, olds and hummer but Buick should have been the one to vanish, not Pontiac! Buick is nothing more than and over priced Chevy wanting to be a caddy but failing miserably. GM could have easily made Pontiac, the car lineup of GMC and never skipped a beat so there would have been Chevrolet Pontiac/GMC and Cadillac. As it stands right now, with Chevrolet getting rid of all of their cars, what is the point of the Chevrolet brand? Nothing. The Camaro will be dead again in a few years, the Corvette should be a Cadillac by its status, and Buick is nothing more than dead weight (like Lincoln is to Ford). But it actually doesn’t have to be all that bad.
    To be honest, Holden is nothing more than an Australian Pontiac and a brand name the GM still has. Let’s say, GM made Holden the global brand, bringing it to the States under the GMC umbrella like they should have done with Pontiac. Now we have something fresh to work with around the world. We already know that GM is working to bring the total number of vehicle platforms down to only four platforms, the VSS-F (vehicle strategic set-Front wheel drive), VSS-R (rear wheel drive), the VSS-S (Crossovers) and VSS-T (trucks and body on frame SUVs), personally, I believe GM Could bring it down to three (VSS-R, VSS-S and VSS-T). The upcoming Alpha-2 Chassis is going to be build on the VSS-R platform. In my mind, this should spawn a new Holden Monaro and a new Holden Commodore, along with the Cadillac CT4, CT5, CT6 and CT7 and possibly CT8 if they’re going up that high. Obviously the Corvette will be on it’s on platform but I will bring that up further down the line. Engines should range from the 2.7L Turbo I-4, the 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 and the 3.6L Twin Turbo V6 and backed by the 10-speed automatic transmission and a 10-speed hybrid transmission. Let’s not kid ourselves any longer, we all know the V8 days are growing short, so clamoring on about putting a V8 in anything is more than likely a pointless argument. But just like I did with Ford, let’s look at the specs. GM claims 310hp/348tq with the 2.7L turbo, the 3.0L Twin turbo makes 404hp/400tq and the 3.6L TT makes 464hp/445tq, which means the 3.6L Twin turbo makes more horsepower than the current Camaro SS with only 10lb-ft torque less. Mate that to a 10-speed auto and you have a very nice street car in both the Monaro and the Commodore and they’d be competitive with a CD6 chassis Ford Capri or Ford Falcon. Drop a 3.0L twin turbo Hybrid in Denali versions of these cars and have your luxury cars right there. Offer all of the cars with AWD options and call it a day. GM could honestly just have Holden and GMC and be perfectly fine without Cadillac, just like my thoughts of Ford just having Ford with the Vignale line for ultimate luxury. Seeing that Cadillac is only sold in America anyway, get rid of it. Above the cars, The GMC Canyon and a GMC Trailblazer should compete with the Ford Ranger and Ford Everest and both should be build on the same body on frame platform. This is where the 2.7L I-4 Turbo should go along with a V6 Diesel. keep the Acadia and the Terrain on the VSS-S platform with the 2.0L Ecotec and 2.7L I-4 Turbo engines with AWD being the only option available. As for the full size trucks and SUVs, With the Sierra and Yukon around with Denali packages available, there is no need for the Silverado, the Tahoe or the Escalade. There really isn’t. Bring the Suburban back to GMC and have the Sierra, the Yukon and the Suburban. Instead of the 2.7L Turbo, use 3.0L and 3.6L twin turbo Hybrids and the I-6 3.0L Diesel engines. As far as the HD trucks go, make larger I-6 diesel. Just a thought if a 3.0L I-6 turbo diesel can make 277hp and 460tq, why can’t a 6.0L inline diesel double those numbers to 554hp and 920tq, or push for closer to 1,000lb-ft of torque? put a 10-speed diesel rated Allison transmission behind that bad boy and watch it work!
    Let’s talk about the other elephant in the room, electric. GM is already working on the GMC Hummer brand of vehicles and honestly, it makes sense. Especially if GMC takes the same strategy it used before with the hummer brand with the H3, H2 and H1. a small urban vehicle, a medium size “Status” SUV and a large and rugged version. Only difference this time is that with the entire line being electric, everything has efficiency on its side but also performance. Offering the Hummer vehicles in different style is a must. Another thing for GM to do is to move their commercial vehicles to electric. Vehicles such as the City Express vans. They should all be electric with autonomous features to aid in things such as package delivery and all sorts of other stuff. Now, as promised I’d get to the Corvette and some people are going to be pissed off about my next statement but it is what it is. Following in the Footsteps of the Lamborghini Urus, the GMC Corvette should be a hyper SUV and Following Ford’s Mach-E, it should be electric. A 900hp/1,100tq GMC Corvette ZR1 Denali absolutely should happen and it should be loud! Ultimate luxury, Ultimate performance and Ultimate cool. Where the Mach-E could be a brash, electric vehicle that embodies the spirit of the Mustang’s herritage from the Boss 302, the Boss 429, the Mach 1, the GT350 and the GT500, then an Electric Corvette crossover should compete on a world class level with vehicles such as the Lamborghini Urus, the Porsche Cayenne and other ultra performance SUV/Crossover vehicles and always stay out in front and if Lamborghini can do this successfully, then so can the Corvette. Names such as the E-Ray, the Gran Sport, Z06 and ZR1 Denali should all be there with different levels of performance.
    Lastly, GM needs to upgrade and update the GM Performance Parts Catalog with Stage kits like they used to do with the Cobalt SS, but for these newer turbocharged performance vehicles along with suspension stuff, exhaust stuff, intercoolers, styling, stereo upgrades, etc. And for the love of all things wonderful, please bring up those awesome Holden wheels!!!!!!!
    So all in all, to sum up everything, GM could literally get rid of everything except Holden and GMC and do better than what they’re currently doing and do it on a global level. There would be performance cars, electric vehicles, SUVs and trucks that could sell in global markets, with smaller, more efficient engines, a larger presence in the electric vehicle field, automation, less models (which means less materials which equal larger profits) happier customers which equal more profits and a more stable global presence due to a more stable business model. All of this also keeps cost low because now your making fewer different things which means GM could actually 3D print along of this stuff in many different locations via automated 3D printers that receive signals simultaneously to being executing commands to produce parts. Less expensive, quality parts means less expensive quality vehicles which means more people can afford them which means more people will buy them. All of this should be the same (or similar) for Ford. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure this stuff out.

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