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Ford farewells Fairlane and LTD

These iconic Australian-made cars will exit a rapidly-changing market, with consumers demanding higher-technology and smaller-displacement engines in the premium sector.

The long-wheel base versions of the Falcon have suffered a sales decline over the past five years, while its main opposition - the Holden Statesman/Caprice range - has increased export sales to offset slowing local demand.

The Melbourne-based car maker said the decision coincided with the arrival of the medium-sized Mondeo, returning to the Australian market after a six-year absence.

Ford said there was a major decline in sales of vehicles in the upper large-car segment.

Industry observers have pointed to Ford’s product planning as being partly to blame, suggesting that Ford may have diluted the original premium perception of the Fairlane and LTD by reducing the specification of the models to bring them into reach of a broader market.