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Storm battered Ford car sales

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    ... a mix of Falcon and Territory were being stored in the open and took the full force of the weather.

A giant hailstorm is blamed for the worst month of Falcon sales on record.

Ford Australia only delivered 931 cars in January, down even from the miserable 1157 start to last year's sales for the one-time local favourite.

The overall Ford total lifts to only 2135 vehicles once the Melbourne-made Territory SUV and Falcon ute are included, still behind the 2170 Holden Commodore sedan deliveries for the first month of 2012. And trailing the baby Focus on 1576.

The January numbers show the Commodore was beaten for the first time in January by its locally-made sibling, the compact Cruze on 2445, while the Mazda3 was overall number one with 4045.

Ford said it was hit badly by a giant storm on Christmas Day that pelted its Broadmeadows site with car crumpling hailstones. Around 1000 cars, a mix of Falcon and Territory, were being stored in the open and took the full force of the weather.

"It was a shocking storm. They really took a hit," a spokesman for Ford Australia, Neil McDonald, revealed to News Limited.

"It was on Christmas Day. The cars were at the plant, waiting to be shipped to dealers and then on to customers."

The hailstorm is only one in a series of recent disasters for Australia's three local carmakers, as Toyota has just cut 350 jobs from its factory at Altona and Holden expects to shed as many as 200 contract workers during a re-organisation of production at its plant in Adelaide. Both decisions are based on falling export sales.

Ford was forced in early January to inject $103 million into its local operation in joint funding from its global parent in the USA and the Federal government to provide security for local manufacturing through to 2016.

The January results, revealed in official VFacts sales totals, are no real surprise.

Large car sales are traditionally down in January because government departments and big fleet customers are not buying, while Toyota is still getting up to speed with its new Camry - so 1290 sales - and the Mazda3 is still powering off the back of its best selling performance in 2011.

The January total is a little better than the first month of 2011, with a total of 76,783 sales for a 4.3 per cent lift, but passenger car sales were down slightly and needed bolstering as usual from the strength in SUVs.

As usual, Toyota was Australia's favourite brand in January, ahead of Toyota and Mazda.

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 11 comments

  • Ford is selling the wrong car. Focus is their best car, but they keep making the Falcon, and they don't have stocks of Focus (or Fiesta), unless you happen to want what the dealer has in stock. They'd also boost sales if they could match Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Kia with warranty. Or don't they trust the product?

    Alan of Logan City Posted on 10 February 2012 10:49pm
  • Paul Gover again trying to kill off the Falcon with lies....traitor

    megalos boutsos Posted on 10 February 2012 8:57pm
  • Ford have got a tough month ahead of them. Toyota and other struggled with the Japanese earthquake. I remember 2 months of Holden on top of Toyota in total sales in 2011. More recentlt - the Tailand floods. This no different. I am sure Ford will get on top of this soon. Unfortunately, none of the manufacturers are immune to mother nature.

    Dave S Posted on 09 February 2012 10:49am
  • Am I surprised about Ford's drop in sales? No way. Ford used to make a good car but now that is not the case. That is a lot of the reason why I prefer the Holden Commodore and choose to drive an SV6.

    William Moulds of Gold Coast Posted on 08 February 2012 10:26pm
  • Media is bashing Ford more than the market is. Sensationalizing statistics for headlines. Australia needs at least two manufacturers in order to be both competitive and innovative. If we lose Ford, Holden will follow and Toyota will not be far behind. Strong aussie dollar, diminishing support from the Gillard Govt (she pulled mega$ from them and gave it to her mate captain Bligh because Bligh was too tight to insure infrastructure.

    Max W. of Aldinga Beach SA Posted on 08 February 2012 6:17pm
  • When will the journo's give the Falcon the respect that it deserves. Are they on the ToyKiaMaz payroll??

    Woodpecker of Australia Posted on 08 February 2012 5:17pm
  • yeah, it's not a good product that sells - it's a well marketed one.

    alex Posted on 06 February 2012 1:33pm
  • I really don't think you can blame Glover. It's more to do with the Boganstralia mentality of self righteousness, take for example anything MotorMouth says even when you point out his errors there is no retraction, just more pointless drivel. Bad luck to Ford it wasn't meant to be... just look how many Corollas were sold when there are three other options which are better and cheaper .

    David Watson of Sydney Posted on 06 February 2012 12:10am
  • The opening line says Ford only delivered 931 cars in January - it was 931 Falcons. Negative reports about Ford are causing a lot of people to be put off buying them. I know their advertising sucks, but each of Fords vehicles in Australia (with the exception of the Escape, which has been dropped) is either the best or 2nd best vehicle in its segment according to the critics. Your dopey comments don't help and sensationalisng headlines don't help.

    Geoff of Melbourne Posted on 05 February 2012 11:21am
  • How can Toyota be ahead of themselves (see the bottom line)? They are not that good - I'd swap my work Landcruiser for a Territory any day!

    ABT (anything but toyota) of FNQ Posted on 05 February 2012 10:30am
  • Grubby Glover putting the boot in again, he just can't help himself!

    The Truth Posted on 03 February 2012 1:57pm
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