Alan Mulally is in charge of a $140 billion dollar global business and recently visited Australia with four of his top executives. They addressed a group of Ford dealers and corporate customers telling them of Ford’s commitment to Australia and New Zealand and the vision for growth in this part of the world.
They talked about a line-up of new models around the corner including the next generation of Mondeo, a Ranger based SUV called Everest, confirmation of the Mustang heading here in 2014 and a commitment to a design refresh for the Falcon.
But the real message from Mulally was to reassure Australia that while there is no room in ‘One Ford’ for local manufacturing, Ford Australia has a role to play that extends across the Ford global business with the integration of Ford Australia’s engineering and design facility with Ford's global product development centers.
He talked about Australia being one of the product development centers of excellence, where designers and engineers develop vehicles and technologies for the world market. Some of the investment dollars poured into Ford Australia were highlighted; the $1.9 billion Ford has invested in research and development over the last 6 years, the $200 million invested in product development in 2012 and the commitment that, by 2016, there will be 1,100 designers and engineers in the Australian team.
The Everest SUV was not totally unexpected and the news of the Mustang wasn’t new but the next generation of Mondeo did hold the most interest. A tourer and a hatch that certainly looks a winner.
Ford is cutting off its production in Australia but Ford and the Australian and New Zealand markets seems to be a key part of Ford's global thinking and that's what Alan Mulally was in Australia to say.