Farewell to Ford: Last Australian-built cars roll off the production line

The last Australian-made Ford car rolled off the production line on Friday, ending an era that began in 1925 with the legendary Model T. The final three cars off the assembly line were being readied to be raffled off to the hundreds of workers losing their jobs. Dave Smith, from the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, said it was a tough day for the 600 people who would be out of work come Monday. He added that “there’s been a lot of emotion and it’s been close to coming to the surface at times”.

Ford is an iconic brand, they’ve built such classic cars over the years and the people really feel a part of that. And of course those cars couldn’t have been built without them. Them and their skills. So it’s a very, very sad day.

Union leader Dave Smith

Ford is shuttering its factories at Broadmeadows and Geelong in Victoria state. While manufacturing will stop, the company will remain in Australia as an importer and dealer, employing some 1,500 people. “Today is an emotional day for the entire team of Ford Australia,” said chief executive Graeme Whickman, who added that the company had spent the past three years helping some of the 1,200 workers being made redundant find other work. “Many people think the auto industry is closing down in Australia but that is not the case at Ford,” he added.

We are saying goodbye to some wonderful manufacturing colleagues who have done a great deal for Ford in Australia.

Ford boss Graeme Whickman