A Brief History of Ford Australia

Ford Australia Milestones

In collation of this website we are endeavouring to gather a one stop authorised succinct complete history of Ford and distribute approved information via this website.

As you may well understand this is not a small task and we are involved with many support groups to assist in its implementation.

In the meantime we have provided a short timeline of milestone history and look forward to updates throughout time.

1904 First Ford car, a Model A imported into Australia.
1905-1925 Ford cars imported through agents and distributors from Canada and the United States.
1918 First Fordson tractors in Australia.
1919 Ford branch office established in Melbourne by Ford of Canada
1925 Ford Motor Company of Australia formed on March 31. Production of Model T begins July 1 in leased premises in Geelong. Construction of assembly plants in Geelong, Brisbane, Fremantle and Adelaide commenced.
1926 Manufacturing and Assembly Plants opened in Geelong, Adelaide and Brisbane.
1928 Introduction of Model A.
1930 Fremantle (WA) assembly plant opened in March.
1932 Introduction of V8 models. First small English Ford, the Model Y, introduced.
1934 World’s first coupe utility, Model 40, designed and built by Ford Australia.
1935 Ford introduces Model 48 with all-steel body and fabric top. Ford 10 h.p. Prefect released.
1936 Homebush (Sydney) assembly plant opened March 17.
1937 Model 78 with first steel turret-top body on an Australian-built sedan.
1938 Ten-Ten panel van introduced.
1939-44 Lincoln Zephyr released. Geelong production facilities converted to wartime activities to manufacture landing barges, military vehicles, and ammunition materials. Brisbane (Rocklea) Plant converted to recondition aero engines. Sydney plant begins building Bren Gun Carriers.
1945 Resumption of civilian vehicle production. Ford V8 sedan launched by Prime Minister Ben Chifley. Fordson E27N Model tractor introduced.
1946 Ford Freighter utility announced – forerunner of F-Series.
1949 All new Ford V8 sedan with independent front suspension – Single Spinner model. Ford Pilot V8 imported from England. Thames range of trucks released.
1951 Consul 4 cylinder sedan.
1952 English Zephyr 6 cylinder sedan. Fordson Major Tractor introduced. Customline sedans and utilities announced.
1955 Australian-built Customline sedans and Mainline utilities fitted with OHV V8 engines built on new overhead valve V8 engine line.
1956 MkII Zephyr and Consul sedans. Utility version of Consul and Zephyr designed and produced. 400 acres (162 hectares) purchased at Broadmeadows for future expansion.
1958 Announcement of $37 million expansion. Work starts on Broadmeadows Car Assembly Plant. Modernisation program begins at Geelong. Fordson Dexta light tractor released.
1959 Broadmeadows Car Assembly Plant opened in August. Australian-built Fairlane 500, Custom 300 and Ranch Wagon.
1960 First XK Falcon sedan off line in June and the full range of Falcon sedans and wagons introduced (September). Engine machine shop installed at expanded Geelong plant.
1961 $31 million expansion plan announced. Capacity almost doubled from 50,000 to 90,000 units per year. Head Office transferred to Melbourne. Utility and Panel van added to Falcon range.
1962 100,000th Falcon produced. Fremantle assembly operations ceased – plant used for rectifications only. XL Falcon introduced. National Parts Distribution Centre opened at Broadmeadows at cost of $3 million. Tractor and Implement Division commenced operations. Fordson Super Major tractor.
1963 $27 million expansion plan announced. Ford Sales Company of Australia Limited established. Ford introduced broad acre farm implement range.
1964 XM Falcon sedans, wagons and new hardtop two-door model introduced. Broadmeadows Car Assembly Plant expanded and $2 million Head Office opened on the site. $160,000 Apprentice Training Centre at Geelong.
1965 Henry Ford II, Chairman of Ford, visits Australia. $1.5 million, 700 hectare Proving Ground opened. 70,000 mile Durability Run for XP Falcon models at Proving Ground.
1966 XR Falcon – completely new model with V8 engine option. $2 million extension to Brisbane Plant. Industrial tractor range launched.
1967 Falcon XR GT introduced. Falcon GTs takes first and second places in Bathurst 500 mile race. Australian Fairlane based on Falcon floor pan introduced. Falcons exported to Japan – Ford wins Export Award. 1,000,000th Australian-built Ford produced. Tractor and Equipment Operations moved to Broadmeadows.
1968 XT Falcon. Model 8000 and 6Y tractors released. Falcon team of three GTs wins the teams’ prize in the London-Sydney Marathon. Falcons were placed 3rd, 5th and 8th.
1969 XW Falcon. GT HO version announced.
1970 XW GT HO Phase 2 introduced. Falcon first and second at Bathurst. XY Falcon launched with Phase 3 GT HO version. 30,000th completely knocked down (CKD) vehicle exported. $45 million expansion announced. Ford Credit Australia formed.
1971 Falcon GT HO Phase cars take first three places at Bathurst.
1972 XA Falcon – first all- Australian designed Falcon – introduced including new two-door hardtop model. Crash barrier facility and emission laboratory commissioned at Lara Proving Ground. $4 million Plastics Plant announced. Ford Fiera announced for Asian market. The Blue Line tractor equipment range announced.
1973 XB Falcon launched. Including last GT model. Falcon wins Bathurst.
1974 Ford takes passenger car leadership for first six months. Ford Asia-Pacific Regional Office formed, responsible for operations in Japan, S.E. Asia, Pacific Island, New Zealand and Australia. Falcon wins Bathurst.
1975 Louisville heavy duty truck range announced – first right hand drive versions in the world. Ford Construction Equipment range released.
1976 XC Falcon launched. $72 million product investment and facility expansion program announced. 7A Tractors range released.
1977 Expansion of Plastics Plant. Famous 1-2 win for Falcons at Bathurst.
1978 Japanese sourced Courier one tonne utility. Transit Van and ‘D’ Series trucks announced. Cobra Hardtop introduced and 400 made.
1979 Henry Ford II visits Australia for launched of all-new XD Falcon, Fairlane and LTD range. Falcon sedans fitted with new lightweight plastic fuel tank, the first mass-produced car in the world to have this technology. New Trader medium duty truck range released.
1980 Ford announced $300 million investment program. Alloy head introduced for XD Falcon six cylinder range. TF Cortina launched. $13 million upgrade for Homebush (Sydney) Assembly Plant to prepare for Laser introduction. 1000 Series tractor introduced. Australian built 8401 tractor launched.
1981 Laser front-wheel-drive models launched. New F Series and Bronco 4 x 4 range released. Courier diesel-powered utility added to range. New models of Econovan and Trader. All-new Cargo replaces ‘D’ Series trucks. $70 million four cylinder engine plant commenced construction at Geelong. Ford sales total $1.126 billion; after-tax profit is $49 million. Fremantle Tractor Plant capacity doubled. Ford tractors take ‘brand name’ leadership. Falcon wins Bathurst and Touring Car Championship.
1982 New XE Falcon range launched with Watts Link rear suspension, restyled body and upgraded engine, transmission and interior trim. Meteor sedan launched, Laser models upgraded and Laser ‘S’ added. Ford sells 550 Cargo and 170 F Series trucks to Australian Army in $13 million contract. Ford corporate advertising campaign “Ford Australia, we’re moving with you” launched. Series 10 Tractor range introduced. Ford sales total $1.294 billion; after-tax profit is $66.3 million. Ford engineers win Shell Mileage Marathon with special economy vehicle at 2,599.5 miles per gallon (0.108 litres per 100 km).
1983 Ford wins Australian Design Award for Falcon, Fairlane and LTD range – first time for a motor vehicle. Electronic fuel Injected engines introduced to Falcon, Fairlane and LTD range. AR Telstar sedan and TX5 hatchback models. F Series upgraded. Cargo 11 heavy duty truck range launched. KB Laser and GB Meteor models released. Employee Involvement program launched at Homebush Assembly Plant in Sydney. Mileage Marathon world record lifted to 2,948 m.p.g. (0.095 L/100km) by Ford engineers. Sales $1,366 billion, after-tax profit $72.8 million. $55 million four cylinder engine plant announced.
1984 XF Falcon released – EEC 1V engine management system, rounded front styling, and new interior. New Econovan/Spectron models. $69.1 million investment in CAD/CAM at Geelong. Sales $1.66 billion, after-tax profit $97 million. Mileage Marathon world record broken again by Ford – 3,133 miles per gallon (.090 L/100km).
1985 Record sales of $2,069 billion (170,811 units) for after-tax profit of $103.5 million. Special KB Laser Turbo limited education released. KC Laser/GC Meteor introduced. Falcon celebrates 25th Anniversary with special model (2000 produced). Local assembly of LTL 9000 commenced. Construction of new paint facility at Broadmeadows started. Carla Zampatti Laser launched – February. New mileage record set by Ford engineers – 5,107 miles per gallon. (0.55 L/100km).
1986 Facelift of XF Falcon with power steering/4-wheel disc brakes as standard, introduction of Fairmont Ghia wagon. TX5 Turbo introduced. Meteor Wagon introduced – March. Spectron/Econovan 4 x 4 released. Force 11 tractor range introduced. Sales $1.877 billion. After-tax profit $19.2 million.
1987 KE Laser introduced – Meteor name deleted. AT Telstar released. F150 introduced with anti-lock rear brakes. Courier 4 x 4 range released. Production of new EA Falcon commenced – October. $62 million paint facility opened at Broadmeadows. $2.4 million Training Centre opened at Broadmeadows. Ford New Holland Inc formed in Australia as a separate company. All operations transferred to Cranbourne, Victoria. Total sales $2 billion – After-tax profit $48 million. Fremantle Rectification Plant closed.
1988 EA Falcon range launched – February. Fairlane/LTD models released – June. New LTS 9000 heavy duty truck replaces LN 9000. Production of Capri commenced. Ford exhibits at Expo 88, Brisbane.
1989 Capri convertible released. Four-speed automatic transmission introduced on Falcon EA Series 2/Fairlane/LTD models. Medium-sized Corsair launched. New Trader truck range. Total sales $2.8 billion, after-tax profit $134 million.
1990 Capri convertibles exported to USA in May for release in July. Falcon celebrates 30th anniversary. New models launched – KF Laser, Corsair Liftback and Capri II. New range of heavy trucks introduced including aerodynamic LTS9000 and LTS8000 and 9000 models. Total sales $2.8 billion, after-tax loss $84 million.
1991 EB Falcon launched in July with V8 engine option. 30,000th Capri shipped to US in June. Raider 4WD wagon introduced in August. The compact, five-door Festiva was introduced in October. Total sales $2.27 billion, after-tax loss $113.8 million.
1992 In April the EBII Falcon with 4-litre engine and affordable ABS brakes was launched. Tickford Vehicle Engineering (TVE) formed in a joint venture with Ford Australia. In conjunction with TVE the Capri Clubsprint was introduced in July. TVE produced the Falcon S XR6 in September and followed with the 25th Anniversary Falcon GT in October. Total sales $2.46 billion, after-tax loss $38.3 million.
1993 New product introductions: Festiva Trio 3-door – January. Falcon Longreach utility and van – April. SE Capri – July. ED Falcon – August. One-tonne Longreach GLi Ute and van – August. XL Courier upgrade – August. XR8 Sprint launched – August. XR6 wagon and XR6 utility launched – October. Falcon top-selling vehicle – Ford No. 1 in passenger sales, No. 2 overall. Total sales $2.77 billion, after tax loss $45.3 million. Company wins Australian Quality Award.
1994 New product introductions: WB Festiva – March; Probe (sourced from US) – June; EF Falcon (major
change) – August; XR Series, EF Falcon – September; KJ Laser – October. Capri assembly ceased May 19. Homebush Assembly Plant closed – September. EF Falcon wins Australian Design Award.
1995 New product introductions: NF Series II Fairlane – October; DF Series II – October; HB Mondeo – October; EF Series II Falcon – November. Profit $201.7 million. Vehicle sales 137,800 – 21.5% market share.
1996 New product introductions: SU Probe – March; DN Taurus – March; NL Fairlane – September; DL LTD – September; KJ Series II Laser – December; HC Mondeo – December. Profit $217.3 million. Vehicle sales 132,200 – 20.3% market share.
1997 New product introductions: WD Festiva – January; DP Taurus – January; SV Probe – February; EL Falcon – March; EL 30th anniversary GT – March; KJ Series III Laser – December. Profit $179.5 million. Vehicle sales 130,200 – 18% market share. Market leadership in total vehicles as well as passenger vehicles.
1998 New product introductions: Completely new AU Falcon – September; WF Festiva September; Brisbane Assembly Plant closed. Profit $57 million. Vehicle sales 128,800 – 15.9% market share. Falcon (Bright/Richards) wins Bathurst 1000 and all three Indy Car Grand Prix support races (Larkham)
1999 New Product introductions: HD Mondeo – January; AU Fairlane – March; KN Laser – March; AU LTD – June; AU Utility range – June; Cougar – October; TE Series FTE sedans – October; Ka – November. Ford Tickford Experience (FTE) set up to market specialist vehicles. Ford Discovery Centre dedicated by Edsel Ford III and opened in Geelong by Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett (April). Geoff Polites replaces David Morgan as President of Ford Australia.
2000 Ford Australia 75th Anniversary; AU Falcon Series II released – April; 40th Anniversary of Falcon – June.
2001 Escape launched in Australia – February; Mustang re-introduced to Australia – February; Ford Alive educational program launched – May; F-250 and F-350 trucks introduced – July; AU Falcon T-Series released – November;
2002 Focus launched in Australia, replacing Laser – October; All new BA Falcon released – October; New Falcon wins Wheels Magazine Car of the Year and Best Family Car Award from major automobile clubs — Nov/Dec; Ford Performance Vehicles replaces Tickford as Ford’s performance partner and announces the return of the GT Falcon.
2004 Ford Territory Launched and wins major motoring awards including Wheels Car of the Year
2005 2nd Generation European designed Focus is launched alongside updated BF Falcon
2006 Ranger Launched, Turbo added to popular Territory range. Craig Lowndes wins Bathurst in a Falcon.
2007 European Mondeo relaunched onto Australian market, huge facility upgrades at Proving Ground, Geelong stamping plant. Research & Development Centre opened in Geelong
2008 All new FG Falcon released, Craig Lowndes wins Bathurst
2009 New Fiesta released, Ford announces $230 million of new investment for efficient and enviromently friendly engines
2010 Third generation Focus is shown at Detroit Motor Show for the first time.