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Falcon Can Outsell Commodore, Says Ford Boss

Chris Gable
9 April 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

Ford Australia president, Bill Osborne believes the new FG Falcon can outsell Holden’s Commodore even without standard curtain airbags on all of its models.

Ford detailed the new Falcon’s impressive active and passive safety story at the media launch of the car in Victoria’s Yarra Valley last night. But Osborne and his executives came under fire during question time when they confirmed that curtain airbags were a $300 option on all but the top model Falcons.

Both Holden’s Commodore and Toyota’s Aurion – the Falcon’s only locally-built large car rivals – get curtain airbags as standard.

Ford says the Falcon is designed to deliver real-world safety benefits and that the car is the safest vehicle ever developed by Ford in Australia. Much of the work that’s gone into the car’s crash safety performance was achieved with state-of-the-art virtual engineering using Ford’s enormous supercomputing facilities at its US Dearborn headquarters, and Volvo’s crash test facilities at Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ford Australia’s virtual engineering chief engineer, Adam Frost explained that the Falcon was tested for 38 real world crash modes in more than 5000 simulated crashes. Ninety real cars were crashed in 310 sled tests, and crash tests were performed 600 times on various sub-systems and components of the new Falcon. Yet Ford won’t know the Falcon’s NCAP crash rating until the car’s crashed during NCAP’s own crash testing procedure.

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The FG Falcon has the potential to be a great car, however the only way Ford will get to to outsell Commodore is if they reintroduce the bench seat/column auto option and offer a vinyl trim/rubber floor mat package so the taxi operaters can start buying them in huge numbers again, not that they won't anyway.

Yeah yeah, I know... I'm a mean prick
 

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I dont doubt in my mind at all that the FG will start outselling the VE.
The VE is 2 years old now, and sales are dwindling because of its age.


The current Falcon has been almost exactly the same since 2002 (?), hence its current incredibly bad sales, and now that a new one is about to come out ...... people will be all over it.


Also, the Falcon still be pretty fleet friendly price wise, unlike the Commodore.
Taxi companies and police will be all over it.



Bring on the VF and diesel Commodores, Holden!
 

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The FG Falcon has the potential to be a great car, however the only way Ford will get to to outsell Commodore is if they reintroduce the bench seat/column auto option and offer a vinyl trim/rubber floor mat package so the taxi operaters can start buying them in huge numbers again, not that they won't anyway.

Yeah yeah, I know... I'm a mean prick
And make them yellow so they comply with Victoria's Taxi colours

Mike
 

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I think Ford are getting ahead of themselves. Public response to the FG has been...well neutral so far. A lot of people are angry that the FG looks too similar to the BF. So far, in every way, the FG is still less superior to the VE (apart from maybe fuel economy). The VE is stronger, faster (most likely), better looking, nice to drive, wide selections, OBVIOUS model differentiation, safer and is just generally probably a better made car. I know it sounds a little bit fanboy-ish but the VE is a very good car and its gonna be tough to beat. And I still reckon the VE will be the better handling car. The F6 launch control is just a half-arsed attempt at fighting back HSV's briliant launches due to its wider rear wheels and better electronics. The Falcon will probably need the new architecture to pose a real threat to Holden/HSV as the VF will be ready soon, an already new architecture will be ready by 2011-2012 which is basically when Ford is releasing their new architecture.

And this new boss, Osbourne. He's a bit mouthy, he's blasted everything Holden has. The Korean strategy is a failed business move (true but there's no need for him to say it), the VE has flaws (what on earth is he on about? hundred bucks says its better made than the cut and paste FG.) I honestly believe that he is just one of those all talk no action leaders and reckon he's gonna cause some trouble in the industry soon. He's already claiming the FG is superior to the Aurion and the VE. That's actually a little pathetic.
 

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And this new boss, Osbourne. He's a bit mouthy, he's blasted everything Holden has. The Korean strategy is a failed business move (true but there's no need for him to say it), the VE has flaws (what on earth is he on about? hundred bucks says its better made than the cut and paste FG.) I honestly believe that he is just one of those all talk no action leaders and reckon he's gonna cause some trouble in the industry soon. He's already claiming the FG is superior to the Aurion and the VE. That's actually a little pathetic.
Geee, I thought you were talking about his predecessor, Tom whatshisname (how easy it is to forget Ford Aus CEOs)....same attitude..same BS.... and probably same lack of achievement for his company.

You have to remember a lot of the rubbish they say is not really aimed at the public per se, but aimed at their staff, trying to keep the troops from revolting.

They have had so very little to cheer about the last few years... and FG isn't about to change anything soon... so a little bit of rah rah rah and chest beating is the best Ford Aus Marketing (Internal Comms?) can come up with.... feel sorry and have a little chuckle.;)
 

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Ford should bring the Falcon here as the Fusion and put it up against the G8 to see which would outsell... umm that would be the G8! :D
 

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This is kinda frustrating, and it reminds me of the perfectly irrelevant battle between Ford and Chevrolet in the US. While both divisions-Ford and Holden in Australia and Ford and Chevrolet in the US-slug it out, everyone seems to forget Toyota, which has long since surpassed all four divisions in retail sales, and not a single mention of them. No wonder why Toyota continues to gobble market share; they get a free pass.

Ford versus Holden, Ford versus Chevrolet: 2 completely passe fights. Note to Ford and GM: the race to number 2 is not an enviable battle to fight. Surround Toyota in the market and carve the company to the marrow.
 

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Even if Falcon outsells Commmodore in Australia, who cares? Will they outsell the Pontiac G8 and (Middle Eastern) Chevy Lumina as well? Because otherwise they're kidding themselves, fighting for scraps of a declining market.

Talk to me when I can go to a Ford dealer here in Maryland and test drive a Falcon.
 

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This reminds me of the never ending pissing match between Ford's F-Series and Chevrolet's Silverado lineup........entertaining a couple of years ago......but somewhat irrelevant today. (though it is an apples-to-oranges type of comparison.....)
 

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Ford have got so much against them that they are going to struggle no matter what.
They have not (and will not) have a significant export program for the FG, therefore they have to rely on Aust. sales and the FG is out of sync with the VE and Aurion model program. Both have already introduced significant model improvements and Ford is playing catch up. Holden and Toyota will be introducing the next model while Ford is trying to make a dollar from this one.
 

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Ford should bring the Falcon here as the Fusion and put it up against the G8 to see which would outsell... umm that would be the G8! :D
I doubt that, even if the G8 is a better product because Ford would have more dealerships and traffic than a B-P-G dealership. Now if Chevy marketed the G8, then that would be true, very true.
 

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It is interesting that Ford Australia's boss's are always firing shots at Holden while Holden just stay quiet and just keep plodding along with their plans.

Are Ford worried about something or is it just a marketing ploy?
 

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The FG Falcon has the potential to be a great car, however the only way Ford will get to to outsell Commodore is if they reintroduce the bench seat/column auto option and offer a vinyl trim/rubber floor mat package so the taxi operaters can start buying them in huge numbers again, not that they won't anyway.

Yeah yeah, I know... I'm a mean prick
most taxi's over there now have a perspect shield surrounding them from the front left side right round to the back right side, mainly in Sydney I believe,
so bench seats are no good any more and they can only carry 4 people.
 

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John Button died the other day. He said it 25 years ago: export or perish. Holden, Mitsu and Toyo listered. Ford Oz wanted to. Mitsu Oz lost their exports for reasons outside their control.

Holden is about the only one looking a better than even prospect of survivng to me. Altona is just one small Camry factory whose outout would be overtime for the US or a pittance out of China.

Ford Oz has now missed the last lifeboat off the Titanic IMO. I'd say there's a better than even chance the last vehicle they make in Oz will be Orion. 2011 is an enternity away in the current scheme of things. If it doesn't at least come back into contention for 50K sales a year I think it'll be reabsorbed into Ford US operations. There's no engine plant for the next gen in eighteen months - it's a small step from importing powertrains to the whole car. It'd have to be tempting to Ford US, especially in the tightening US economy and it's other difficulties, to cut their losses and run at that point.

I can see a future where Holden makes large RWD cars for Oz ( in smaller numbers and a reduced model range than today) America, Middle East and Europe. In turn it will take cars to fill the other lines from America (say Malibu 4 cyl to take Omega's place in the midrange market, maybe a smallish SUV) Opel (maybe Insignia, Astra to fight Corolla) and Daewoo (Barina, maybe Epica, Captiva, a small x-over).

GM doesn't want to convert all it's sedans in NA to RWD - and even if they say make a RWD Buick, Caprice or big Caddy in Oshawa or Lansing, there's still scope for Holden to provide niche utes, coupes, G8s and other vehicles in numbers uneconomic for plants in the US but possible for a small flexible operation like Holden. If the product is good enough, people will buy it, exchange rates notwithstanding.

GM needs good 4-cyl appliance Camry fighters: it also needs competitors from Saturn (Opel), Pontiac, Chevrolet (Camaro) to things like the Madza, Maxima and Acura in the midrange, it also needs the CTS and maybe something smaller to fight with the upper-spec Japanese and Euros. Plus of course SUVs in all sizes.

Toyota is one company and one brand: it's dominant because it leverages it's large model range and global resources - all it's cars don't come from Japan or the US. Honda is the same.
 
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