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Falcon wagon axed

The Ford Falcon wagon has been on Ford's kill list because of declining private sales and popularity of the Territory wagon.

It got the axe yesterday after a lingering showroom sickness that has seen sales spiralling downwards for more than five years.  "It's time to retire the Falcon wagon," Ford's president and CEO, Marin Burela, said yesterday.

"We have moved on."  The last Falcon wagon will roll off the Broadmeadows production line in June.

It will be replaced by the smaller Mondeo wagon, which will be available later this year in both petrol and diesel engines.  The news came as a shock to Kilsyth electrician, Brenton Simpson, who owns a 2000 AU Series II wagon.

"It's a bit of a surprise because they are such good cars," he said.  "I can load up five people and their gear and head away, no problems."

Simpson bought the car three years ago and has spent about $6000 fixing it up, fitting a more powerful XR6 engine, gearbox and running gear.  It is used as his every day car, sometimes carting tools for work.

However, he understands that if the car is not making money, it had to go.  "If it's not viable then you can understand Ford's decision," he said.

Burela said it was a hard decision but a necessary one.  "Traditional wagon buyers still have an option with the Mondeo wagon," he said.

Of the 31,000 Falcons sold last year, just 2500 were wagons.  The wagon's demise is the second such loss of a great Aussie Ford in recent years.

Ford axed its luxury Fairlane and LTD in 2007, citing declining sales.  The big Falcon wagon has been a favourite of Telstra and other large fleet operators.

However, it has been on Ford's kill list because of declining private sales and popularity of the Territory.  The current model wagon can trace its roots back to the 1998 AU model.

It has received little in the way of design or equipment upgrade in recent years.  The first Falcon wagon, the XK, arrived in November 1960.