AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

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Thread: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 from oz's Avatar
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    AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    I can't help but feel bad for the guys who worked on the AU Falcon these days. It seems that they were onto something big but will only be remembered for the car that killed the Falcon name and not the design that would set the trend 10-15 years later...

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    Firebird Concept (the turbine one) Amphibian's Avatar
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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Had Ford made it a more global car, it might have stuck around the way it currently is, Aussie-built or otherwise.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 from oz's Avatar
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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    Had Ford made it a more global car, it might have stuck around the way it currently is, Aussie-built or otherwise.
    Word on the street is that Ford Aus lost a lot of face with the Mercury Capri fiasco years back. Poorly built and developed and Ford lost faith in the local branch for quite some time. It took the Figo success to bring them back and then the success of the Ranger but by then it was too late.

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Quote Originally Posted by from oz View Post
    Word on the street is that Ford Aus lost a lot of face with the Mercury Capri fiasco years back. Poorly built and developed and Ford lost faith in the local branch for quite some time. It took the Figo success to bring them back and then the success of the Ranger but by then it was too late.
    Remember that Ford Australia isn't losing its engineering arm. I wouldn't say its too late for that at least.
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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Those Capri's were shockingly built and poorly engineered

    By the time they got it half decent no one cared anymore and Mazda owned the segment from pretty much day one
    Who the hell approved this abomination? Hidden Content

    I bet it was some dumbarse in Detroit Hidden Content

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Quote Originally Posted by from oz View Post
    Word on the street is that Ford Aus lost a lot of face with the Mercury Capri fiasco years back.
    I have wondered if Ford poisoned the ground in the USA for Holden. "Made in Australia" was something of a joke in the early 90s because of this screwup. Even new car reviews were pointing out the trim parts falling off the Capri.

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    What is that ugly seam on the roof/C pillar?

    I think another issue with the Capri in the USA was it's styling, it was bland for the market, especially a small convertable. I think that was a part where Detroit was still misreading about the Japanese success. They thought American's wanted bland to ugly cars as that's what the Japanese were successfully using to penetrate the USA. Detroit missed the mark and gave us bland & poorly built cars, which made matters worse. Not understanding that Americans will happily buy a bland car if it is well built/minimal problems. But give us a well built and great styling & you have a winner.

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    I will say in the Capri's defense, that it was a convertible a tall driver could live with. I sat in one at an auto show and it was thinkable. The instrumentation was clear and unobstructed by the steering wheel, the sun visors were high enough. But the quality issues and just my own sense of caution about insurance rates for someone my age (early 20s back then) guided me to buy a Mazda Protege.

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    It wasn't just the styling of the AU that killed it

    A lot of them were used as Taxis (Falcons have been for years the prefered vehicle for Taxi use) and if you were tall you would hit your head getting in and out of the back , then once in there your head hit the roof lining and rear window seam

    VT Commodores had more head room and a more generous door opening

    Speaking of doors

    Once you opened the front door in the rain about 3 litres of water would spill onto your legs due to the poor sill design
    Who the hell approved this abomination? Hidden Content

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Boy, I see a ton of same year Taurus in that picture. Of course, considering that my mother has a Taurus in that same color doesn't help it's case.
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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    I totally see it.....they all have round black rubber tires and red taillights!

    What a trendsetter......

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoStopN View Post
    Boy, I see a ton of same year Taurus in that picture. .
    Ding ding. Now you know WTF happened with the SS styling. If you look closely you can see both camel humps.

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoStopN View Post
    Boy, I see a ton of same year Taurus in that picture. Of course, considering that my mother has a Taurus in that same color doesn't help it's case.
    Yep it was designed as such to soften us up for an imported Taurus replacement

    The Jellybean Taurus was imported a couple of years earlier but flopped spectacularly and it was too late to change the AU

    They brought forward the BA by a couple of years but It still had the problems with the rear seat and door openings
    Who the hell approved this abomination? Hidden Content

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Quote Originally Posted by MCGARRETT View Post
    I totally see it.....they all have round black rubber tires and red taillights!

    What a trendsetter......
    I love your contributions. They make every other post seem like a thesis.

    The point of it is that the AU Falcon debuted the sharply sloping boot and bonnet (in combination with Ford's new arced design language) that so many 4 door "coupes" now carry as standard. The design was so strongly rejected by the Australian public that the Commodore was outselling it 2:1. At the time these were to two highest selling cars in the country and Commodore was often selling in numbers of 8000 a month (the current #1 is around 4000 a month).

    In fact it forced Ford to rush a facelift out after just 2 years. Unheard of at the time.

    And then the first generation Mercedes CLS came out and if you can't see the similarities of design there well then you should have gone to Specsavers.

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    Re: AU Falcon: Right car, wrong time.

    Ford Australia was forced to take on the global styling that was also heavily present in both Taurus and Falcon.
    Mulally's comments that Ford hurt Taurus by turning it into a football apply equally to the Falcon, you see the
    reversal happening in both with later versions trying to make fronts and rears less rounded.

    The real issue is that FoA always had the development cost hurdle to jump with successive Falcon evolutions,
    that got more expensive as buyer demands increased and sales began to fall thanks to increased competition.

    Hat Taurus-Falcon-Thunderbird-Fairland-Mustang all been on common or closely related platforms,
    things could have been quite different but the main failing of Ford was that it regionalized products too well
    and the lack of global integration wound up killing Falcon, the very things taht justified falcon and made it
    unique also signed its death warrant...


    One last try before the end...



    Notice the similarity with Mustang...


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