Ford closes Australian vehicle factories

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CAR maker Ford yesterday unveiled plans to close its two factories in Australia with the loss of 1,200 jobs.

The American company blamed its decision on falling sales, rising costs and the strength of the Australian dollar against the greenback.

Ford Australia chief executive Bob Graziano said: “Our costs are double that of Europe and nearly four times Ford in Asia. The business case simply did not stack up.

“Manufacturing is not viable for Ford in Australia.”

The firm began building vehicles in Australia in 1925 and employs about 3,000 staff down under.

Michael Mol, professor of strategic management at Warwick University, said: “Shutting its Australian manufacturing operation is very unfortunate for that country, but it makes sense. The costs are high and demand in Australia is falling.”