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.