From the letters section of the herald sun (10-8-2001):
Falcon is true-blueHANK Tarrant (Cars Guide, August 3) says Holden is the only true-blue company.
I would define an Australian car as one whose body shell, motor engine and parts are fully designed, tested, engineered and constructed within the Australian industry.
The only car in Australia that comes close to that criteria is the Ford Falcon, which has been designed, tested, and fully manufactured here.
Its 4.0-litre in-line overhead camshaft motor was developed in Geelong and renowned overseas companies such as Mercedes Benz and BMW have adopted the design.
In Australia, Holden makes the Commodore, Berlina, Calais and Statesman/ Caprice, which are all variants of one platform base, Opel Omega, derived in Germany.
The engines that drive these vehicles -- 3.8-litre V6 Ecotec Standard/ Supercharged and the 5.7-litre Gen III V8 -- engine management system and their clunky four-speed automatic transmission are designed, tested, and manufactured in the US. They are assembled in Fishermens Bend and attached to vehicles in Elizabeth, South Australia.
While it does export vehicles (about 30,000 a year), Holden also has one of the largest ranges of imported vehicles.
Holden is a fully owned subsidiary of General Motors Corporation (GMC) in Michigan, and has a German, Peter Hanenberger, as chairman and MD heading its Australian operations. Ford Australia is fully owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company in Michigan and has an Australian managing director, Geoff Polites. Australian Jac Nasser, the former head of Ford Australia, is head of global operations.
It's sad that Ford Australia is heading down the same path as Holden, where it has begun to import favourites such as the Mustang.
Let's hope the home-grown Falcon remains truly Australian, and not a " rebadged" fake like the Commodore. And why not manufacture and build the Mustang locally? They would be a lot cheaper, and a winner on the Australian market.