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Ford slips a gear with $16m loss

By Ian Porter

Ford Australia completed a disappointing year for the local car industry when it lost $16.1 million loss for 2000 - its first loss for seven years.

The result reflected a sudden, sharp downturn in sales and margins in the last quarter caused by the weak Australian dollar and the heated competition between Holden and Toyota for market leadership.

Another major factor was a reduction in the already disappointing sales of the controversial AU Falcon series. Sales of the Falcon and its various derivatives dropped 9.5 per cent to 77,234 units during a year when overall sales of cars and trucks was steady at 787,000 units.

The weak Falcon sales and the loss of the Festiva model at the bottom of the company's product range produced the fourth straight drop in annual revenues for the company, to a seven-year low of $2.81 billion. Ford made a profit of $82.3 million in 1999.

The result means Ford joins Toyota and Mitsubishi in the red for the last financial year, with Holden being the only local carmaker to report a profit.

Toyota slipped into the red with a loss of $6.3 million, while Mitsubishi has already flagged a massive loss of $186 million due to the weakness of the Australian dollar against the yen.

"We regard last year as a significantly bad year," Ford Australia president Mr Geoff Polites said last night. "I think it was an aberration."

He said Ford was comfortably in the black after three quarters, but the last quarter was "hideous". "The dollar really fell, our marketing costs went up and a couple of other things went wrong and all of a sudden we fell over.''

Mr Polites said every slide of one cent in the exchange rate cost Ford Australia around $8 million, indicating the currency fluctuations cost Ford around $56 million last year.

"It's up to us now to do some volume in the back three quarters of the year and get into profit again. We have budgeted to make a profit this year," he said.

Mr Polites said the result did not threaten the company's ability to fund its product development program. "In the short term, no [it doesn't]."

The Age
 
T

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*MEMO TO THE RAT*
Dont add to the loss numb nuts. drive carefully.

wait till they get tricky dicky's bill for bodies.
 

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The SparkleHunter™
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Ahh well, it was bound to happen with the AU at some stage. At least it's not as big as Mitsu's loss...
 

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The SparkleHunter™
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J-type said:
Jenna Jamerson will cheer Ford up. :evil:
Mate, I reckon she'd cheer just about anyone up... :wink2:

BTW, it's Jameson. You need to drop the 'r'... :D
 

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Anyone care to post a picture (yeah Yeah I know I live in a shell) I have no idea who you are talkin about:(
 
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I'll join HSE2, who the hell is jenna jemason, or what ever her name is. Doh!!

pritesh is she some relation to you or something.
you sound very protective.. you sure you aint feedin the meat.
 
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Judging by the size of her lungs, I would say she could hold her breath for a long time.
No good at diving though.
sheeze could I share your floaties jenna (darling):p
 
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