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Here are some Ford articles I have found by going through our newsfeed database at work. Found it today by accident :D , which is great because it's a hell of lot easier than running an OCR program.

22/06/2001, Herald Sun


We're going to build a world-class carFord wants the Falcon to fly alongside BMW, writes ANDREW MacLEAN

BMW is the new benchmark for Broadmeadows. Ford plans to drastically increase the quality and craftsmanship in its next-generation AV Falcon and claims itwill be on a par with the top-shelf German giant when the first car rolls offthe production line late next year.

Australian vice-president of product development John Shelton promises amajor shift in driving refinement with the AV Falcon to combat Holden'sincreasing stranglehold in the big-car game.

"We're going to build a world-class car," Shelton says.

"My philosophy is to build on the strengths we already have.

"Today's AUII Falcon is a very good product -- I'm very impressed with it.There's no reason to redo what we already do well.

"NVH improvements are the thing that the expecting market wants -- and it'sthat very area where I want to improve Falcon: its refinement, craftsmanship,everything that says it's a well-thought-out vehicle."

Shelton, who has taken over the role previously held by Ian Vaughan, says BMW is the new target for Falcon quality, and is confident he can deliver on hispromises.

"We benchmark whatever vehicle is out there, but I personally say BMW doesoutstanding work and that would be our benchmark. We set our benchmarks high."

Shelton's obsession with quality is in line with directives from Ford's world-wide product development team, led by Richard Parry-Jones.

After 30 years at Detroit, Shelton says he can call on many areas ofexperience and engineering resources. And, despite Ford's continuing slidedown the sales chart, Shelton is not prepared to cut corners.

"I don't view anything as a stop-gap solution," he says. "I'm going to do the very best job I can to turn things around.

"It's not the Ford position to short-cut products. It's still on target."

The first two AV Falcon prototype shells have already been produced at Broadmeadows, and Ford Australia president Geoff Polites was overwhelmed bythe increase in quality, even in the initial stages.

But he's adamant the AV is just a mid-cycle facelift and not a knight inshining armour that will pull Ford out of the wilderness.

"I'm conscious of what it is," he says. "This is a mid-cycle facelift, not ahuge all-new car."

and this one...

05/07/2001, THE AGE

It would be easy to focus on Australian Magnesium Corporation's huge magnesite deposit -the world's largest - and dismiss the company's $1.67billionmining and smelter project as just another resources play.

But chairman Roland Williams quickly knocks that theory on the head.

``This is a technology play,'' Dr Williams said this week.

``We've got a piece of technology exclusive to us and we're not going to let it go walkabout. It's very heavily patented, but it does mean anyone who wantsto get into the magnesium business is going to be interested because we areright at the bottom of the cost curve.''

What is more, AMC's current $680million share issue was a technology play firmly tied to the world's largest manufacturing industry, automotive, he said.

``I think we've got the tools to lead the market and I think we will take abig market share,'' said Dr Williams, who had a long career at Shell Australia and is well aware of the pitfalls for big projects.

CSIRO devised the technology and developed it over the past 10 years with AMC and the CRC for cast metals manufacturing.

The technology will make AMC the world's low-cost magnesium producer and, for those with vivid memories of the lateritic-nickel fiasco, the AM process hasbeen proven over the past two years in a $40 million demonstration plant thathas produced 200 tonnes of various magnesium alloys.

The demonstration plant was a step most other companies omit, but it was are flection of the caution that has imbued the Stanwell project.

Instead of going straight from pilot plant to commercial plant, AMC and foundation customer the Ford Motor Company spent $US30 million ($A60million) ofFord's money to build the demonstration plant, just to prove the process couldbe scaled up reliably.

The plant, which is also one of the world's 20 largest magnesium plants, not only gave the company a chance further to test the scaling up of the technology, it enabled its engineers to run dozens of research campaigns.

``I think we have explored every rat hole in this technology,'' Dr Williams said. ``We could have written 12 PhD theses on the work we've done and we arenow pretty confident we can crank the scale up very well.

``But you should never minimise the issue of building a $1.3 billion plant.I'm never going to do that.''

The Stanwell smelter will have an initial capacity of 90,000 tonnes a year,equivalent to about 20 per cent of the world market of 450,000 tonnes a year. AMC has approvals, and the necessary electricity supply, to expand Stanwell over time to an output of 360,000 tonnes a year and make it the global industryleader.

But Dr Williams does not envisage any ruinous price wars to win market share because world demand for the metal is growing rapidly as the fuel-economy regulators close in on car makers, especially American car makers.

Independent metals market researcher CRU says world consumption is expectedto more than double from about 450,000 tonnes now to 910,000 tonnes by 2009.

Even better, most of the growth will come from the die-casting industry,which is where the Stanwell output is aimed.

Magnesium use in cars is expected to rocket from an average of around threekilograms now to more than nine kilograms as car makers strive to meet stringent fuel-economy regulations.

The Ford contract - for half the projected output and at a fixed price -effectively guarantees Stanwell will break even, even if not one extra tonne issold. But Dr Williams thinks the world price may rise in line with demand.

``I didn't want to lock in the other 45,000 tonnes under contract,'' he said. ``I think we are going to enjoy selling the rest of the stuff.''
I wonder what Ford will do with the magnesium.

:cool: :cool:

Shhh, we're hunting Lions
1,610 Posts
I think Ford had the BMW as the bechmark for the AU too, I suppose that they know they are not going to get the car as good as a BMW but ultimately aim as high as possible, which is good.
There is know use benchmarking the car against the commode because why benchmark against something that is basically inferior (if only the car buying public would realise this).

Australian Falcon Futura Classic Member
32 Posts
Well I say there is no point benchmarking against a car that we want to be in front of and not equal to, as in the Crummydore.

EL Fairmont Ghia Member
190 Posts
I do not think Ford has the engineering know how, or willingness to put the money there to match BMW yet. Each part of a BMW is like a piece of art, Ford has yet to meet that standard. Any AU owners, open your door, and take a look behind the front fender. You will see a piece of black cardboard, god that disgusts me. I know I am starting to sound negative, but one has to face the harsh realities. Ford setting its sights on BMW is great, they are awesome cars, but a long way to go yet. You need more than mirriors that look alike......


P.S, also there is the bottom line............

7,750 Posts
This is an interest sub topic. It is my opinion that the Aussie cars aren't that far behind the euro stormers if you keep price in perspective, which I note has been done. If you look at Mercs attemps at engineering a cheeper model they haven't been that flash either. Cars manufactured out side of Germany to cut costs have similar issues to our 30 k cars. If the raptor is bench marked of the X5 and they get 75% that is going to be one hell of a machine. I have been treated to a first hand experience with this model and you can see the quality and engineering.
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