Ford closure is not all bad news, says manufacturing body

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  • Plant & Equipment

The last Ford Falcon rolls off the Broadmeadows assembly line. Source: AMWU The last Ford Falcon rolls off the Broadmeadows assembly line. Source: AMWU The last Ford Falcon rolls off the Broadmeadows assembly line. Source: AMWU

The last Ford Falcon rolled off the line today, marking an end to 56 years of Falcon and 91 years of Australian Ford manufacturing, but the news for the industry is not all bad, according to the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (AAMC).

AAMC chairman John Pollaers says the expertise gained from the automotive industry will now "find their way into our small and medium sized companies who haven't had the time or the knowledge till now to transform their processes".

Ford, he says, represents as much about the future of advanced manufacturing in Australia as it does the past.

Pollaers today paid tribute to the Ford employees whose talent and dedication have contributed to a world-class industry here in Australia, renowned for its technical and creative skill.

"If there is one thing the auto industry has taught manufacturers in Australia, it is lean practices and efficiency expertise – and there is currently a huge demand and need for that pool of talent," Pollaers says.

"Ford's vast, growing Ford Research and Development operation across Victoria is one of only three of the company's global hubs in the world," he says. "This is a great credit to Australia.  It recognises we have the engineers, the designers and the research community that enable our advanced manufacturing to be globally competitive."

Pollaers says that more than 80 per cent of world trade occurs within the global value chains of multinational companies, and Australia is finding a place in the high-value end of that chain.

"A Deloitte and Austrade project mapping Australian capabilities to meet international MNC demand estimates that 10,000 Australian SMEs are ‘internationally ready’," he says.

"About 2500 companies were identified as producing high value, innovative solutions across sectors including aerospace, mining equipment, technology and services, oil and gas, and infrastructure.

"We have 2500 companies that are turning their focus to new areas of growth and tapping into multinational supply chains. They are making their mark on the world stage — not as Australian companies but as global companies.

"The advanced Ford operation will be globally sustainable and will have the country's most extensive product development capability from design, engineering and proving facilities spread across Victoria, leveraging major investments in test tracks, a wind tunnel, and world-class emissions laboratories."

He says that, while Falcons and Territories will no longer be built in Broadmeadows, the designers and engineers on that same campus will continue creating future Ranger utes and Everest SUVs for Australia and the world.

"Many of their suppliers are innovating and diversifying to be part of that new global automotive future," Pollaers adds.

 

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