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Ford Australia sells manufacturing sites to Pelligra Group

Pelligra Group already has GM Holden’s former manufacturing site in Elizabeth, South Australia, in its property portfolio.

Ford Australia has confirmed that it has sold its Broadmeadows and Geelong manufacturing sites to property developer Pelligra Group, which is also based in Victoria.

As a result, the Broadmeadows assembly line and the Geelong engine and stamping plants will be renamed Assembly Broadmeadows and Fortek Geelong respectively in a nod to their former owner and its operations.

Nonetheless, the Blue Oval will maintain a presence at both manufacturing sites, with each subdivided so that Ford Asia Pacific’s Product Development Centre in Broadmeadows and Ford Australia’s Research and Development Centre in Geelong, which currently have 1600 employees, carry on.

Ford Australia’s You Yangs Proving Ground in Lara, Victoria, is unaffected by these moves.

According to Ford Australia, “Pelligra Group’s plans for the sites and appreciation for the significance of the sites’ histories to the local communities are key reasons it was selected as the purchaser”.

Pelligra Group has committed an initial $500 million for stage one of the manufacturing sites’ redevelopments, which will retrofit the existing infrastructure to accommodate manufacturing and innovative technology businesses that will initially deliver up to 2000 jobs.

Its chairman, Ross Pelligra, said: “Pelligra has a strong track record of projects that deliver jobs and rejuvenate communities.

“Our intention with Fortek Geelong and Assembly Broadmeadows is the same; we are committed to ultimately delivering 4000-5000 jobs in the next five-10 years, with the first manufacturing tenants anticipated to start work on site within a year.

“Through our investment in the area, we intend to help rejuvenate and grow the local community, and create industry leading hubs with world-class innovation, engineering and manufacturing on site.”

Ford Australia says it will invest more than $500 million into local research and development this year, in direct support of its Broadmeadows, Geelong and Lara operations.

“Ford’s Geelong and Broadmeadows sites have played a central role in the history of Australia’s auto industry as centres of technical excellence and have been part of the fabric of the local communities for generations,” said Ford Australia chief executive Kay Hart.

“We are pleased that Pelligra Group will build on Ford’s ongoing engineering and design presence by adding new opportunities for innovation, ideas and business in Geelong and Broadmeadows.”

Pelligra Group purchased GM Holden’s manufacturing site in Elizabeth, South Australia, in December 2017 and paid homage to its former owner and current tenant by renaming it Lionsgate Business Park.

Will Pelligra Group be able to continue Ford Australia’s manufacturing legacy? Tell us what you think in the comments below.