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Ford Australia posts $162 million loss

Ford posts $162 million loss for 2015 after 11 years of straight decline, but the sales turnaround has started.

Ford has bled $1.05 billion in red ink over the past five years, as it prepares to shut its factories.

Ford Australia has posted its fifth year in a row of massive financial losses -- $162.2 million for the 2015 calendar year -- as it prepares to shut its Broadmeadows and Geelong factories on October 7.

It brings Ford's total losses to $1.05 billion for the past five years alone, despite receiving $483.7 million in taxpayer funding over the past decade, including $34.7 million in the 2015 calendar year.

Ford says the results reflect "significant manufacturing-related costs, including decommissioning costs for the process that will begin once the (factories) close".

Ford will be the first of Australia's three remaining car manufacturers to shutter assembly lines when it ends 91 years of local car making in October, including 56 years at Broadmeadows.

Holden is due to shut its Port Melbourne engine plant later this year ahead of the shutdown of its car assembly line at Elizabeth near Adelaide in late 2017; Toyota will stop production at its Altona plant near Melbourne soon after.

The latest figures show that Ford has just posted its sixth month in a row of growth

Ford Australia's fourth worst recorded financial loss came in its 11th year of sales decline and after posting its lowest sales in 49 years -- just 70,000 deliveries.

However, the latest figures show that Ford has just posted its sixth month in a row of growth -- the first sales turnaround after 10 years of straight decline.

Its top-selling vehicle, the Ford Ranger ute, has closed the gap to the Toyota HiLux, Australia's favourite workhorse for more than three decades.

Although the Ford Ranger was designed and engineered in Australia, it is made in Thailand along with most other utes now on sale locally.

In 2004, one year before the Free Trade Agreement with Thailand -- the biggest producer of pick-ups in the Asia-Pacific region -- Ford and Holden sold more than 40,000 Australian-made utes between them.

In 2015, just 2600 Ford Falcon utes and 4900 Holden Commodore utes were sold.

Imports of cars and utes from Thailand have almost tripled since the Free Trade Agreement was signed (from 84,000 in 2005, to 250,000 in 2015).

In return, Australia has exported just 100 Broadmeadows-built Ford Territory SUVs to Thailand, in 2012.

It was Australia's sole automotive export to Thailand since the free trade deal.