The Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), based out of Michigan in the United States, has stopped production of their Falcon automobiles in Australia after 91 years.
Ford has been making these vehicles in the country since 1925, most of them at the company’s plant in Broadmeadows, a suburb of Melbourne. Of the 5.9 million automobiles made by Ford in the country, 4.3 million rolled out from the plant here. 3.8 millions of these has been Falcon vehicles, which were first manufactured in 1960.
Ford Workers Leave Plant for the Last Time
It was an emotional farewell as the workers was seen driving away from the Ford plant for the very last time. However, in a sign of the country’s changing tastes in automobiles, most of them were seen driving imported cars. A few of them were driving an old Toyota Camry, one of the few locally-made vehicles.
Many workers though were seen wearing the words “RIP Falcon” on their chest. There was a big media team outside the factory gates, taking pictures and speaking to the workers.
Some of them were very emotional, many having worked for several years. However, others were happy with the retirement payout of $250,000 they received, and even compared this to a lottery win. One employee, who worked at the plant for 40 years said, “I’m retiring, thank you very much. Not sad at all. What other company gives you quarter of a million dollars to leave”.
Analysts are however saying that a third of the workers in the plant won’t have another job. This is, of course, bad news for the local economy. The country has lost its car industry. Ford has been for close to a century providing employment and income to the local economy. It has been very important to Broadmeadows.
The AMWU National Vehicle Division Secretary, Dave Smith, said, “It’s a shame for Australia. Hopefully, our workers will be given a chance in other industries”.
An outreach centre has opened close to the factory where Ford is offering career courses, literacy classes, and job fairs to help the workers find an alternative job.
The Ford Falcon Will Now Be in a Museum
Pictures of the very last Falcon sedan went viral on social media soon. The car will now be kept in a museum beside the last Falcon ute and the last Territory SUV. In the last batch, Ford (NYSE:F) made 20 vehicles at the Broadmeadows plant in Australia.