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Old 10-31-2001, 15:21   #1 (permalink)
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IN the Australian newspaper:



Quote:
OH LORD, FORD UNEASY ABOUT JAC THE KNIFED
Neil McDonald
01-11-2001
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FORD Australia chief Geoff Polites left for Detroit last night to secure approval for his five-year business plan in the knowledge he will lack the support of former Ford president Jac Nasser. Yesterday, Mr Polites told The Australian he was not surprised at events that saw Mr Nasser -- who ran Ford Australia for three years from 1990 -- removed from office on Tuesday.

"Of course we're shocked about it but the company will continue on," he said.

One of the key tenets of Ford Australia's business plan is expected to be approval for a Falcon four-wheel drive, code named Raptor, which could be on the road by 2004.

Mr Polites would not be drawn yesterday on whether it had been given the green light. But he did say such a vehicle would be welcomed in the Ford line- up.

"I've have no doubt at all about Raptor," he said. "My only doubt is about the circumstances within the corporation changing the program. But the program itself is outstanding. "

Mr Polites is believed to have gained tentative approval for the four-wheel drive project from Mr Nasser when they met at last week's Tokyo motor show.

With Mr Nasser now out the picture, Mr Polites must pitch the business case to William Clay Ford Jnr, who has taken over as CEO.

Mr Polites said it did not matter who ultimately replaced Mr Nasser because " the committee in the product matters meeting makes the decision ... Ford programs are never approved by one man".

Over the long term, Ford Australia could miss the understanding of its small market represented at the high table by someone like Mr Nasser, who spent his childhood in Melbourne.

Products unique to Australia, such as the Falcon, may struggle to present a convincing financial case without the sympathetic ear of the Ford chief.

Despite Mr Polites' optimism, he admitted the mood within the Ford empire was sombre after the global downturn in car manufacturing and events of September 11.

Recent zero financing options for new cars introduced across the US to kick- start sales would also put pressure on manufacturers, he said.

The Australian car industry was also in for a rough time.

"Our industry in general will be tough for the next 18 months," he said.

"When we did our business plan our projection for total sales was 790,000 in 2002 -- now we're talking 750,000. "

Ford Australia has a lot riding on its future with a new Falcon due out in September next year and a rush to find a replacement for the Festiva small car high on its agenda.

The current AU Falcon, which was tweaked by Nasser before it was released here in 1998, has gone through two revisions to try and halt its sales slide.

Ford Australia has seen its market share fall from 18 per cent in 1997, the last time it won the domestic sales race, to 13.9 per cent to date this year.

On the back of a less than robust domestic industry Australia's four car- makers, Toyota, Holden, Ford and Mitsubishi, are all expected to suffer.
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Old 10-31-2001, 16:09   #2 (permalink)
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Hope the Raptor gets the go ahead.:redcry:
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Old 10-31-2001, 16:23   #3 (permalink)
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I know the article mentioned that a committee makes decisions on programs...not one man, but I'd have to ask how much influence that "man" had. With JN out and FOA seen purely as a "business" now, I have to wonder about programs that will be approved in the future. But I certainly hope that Raptor does go ahead! It would be such a shame if it didn't.
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Old 10-31-2001, 18:02   #4 (permalink)
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I guess we'll have to put our faith in the business plan on the table. Would be a real shame to see Raptor miss the boat. People are killing for a car like it. Lets just hope the Falcon remains a Falcon too. We all know how well the taurus went down now don't we.. :oo1:
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Old 10-31-2001, 18:07   #5 (permalink)
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The Raptor will be a huge lifesaver for ford I reckon. If it is approved it should be able to be released relatively quick.
Hey FM...Remember that thing we saw on the trip with the funny roof?
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Old 10-31-2001, 18:20   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by (\/)ADXF
Hey FM...Remember that thing we saw on the trip with the funny roof?
Yep.. Mikes sparkly melon was pretty funny!!
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Old 10-31-2001, 18:32   #7 (permalink)
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Seeing that GMH have allready got approval for a 4WD/AWD program it might encourage Ford to do the same, but one can only hope.
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Old 10-31-2001, 21:26   #8 (permalink)
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It seems that Holden have a lot of (more) support through GMC than Ford Oz get from Ford US.:bgrrrr:
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Old 10-31-2001, 22:39   #9 (permalink)
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Considering they made 245m bucks last year that's not too hard to believe!!
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Old 11-01-2001, 00:22   #10 (permalink)
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It's known though that GM will get Holden out of most Situations but Ford Oz have to make do with what they make themselves. If they stumble they're like Turtles on thier back.
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