The nails show no sign of being removed from the coffin of Ford's flailing Falcon, with the brand's international president all but confirming there is no long term future for the Australian large car.
While remaining guarded with his comments, Ford boss Allan Mulally gave his strongest hint yet that the Falcon - and possibly the Falcon nameplate - is headed for the scrapheap.
Speaking at the 2012 Geneva motor show Mulally reinforced Ford's One Ford policy, whereby cars are produced for a global market. He also named almost every model in the new Ford line-up, missing the Falcon, which has government assistance to keep it being produced until 2016, but faces almost certain death beyond that.
- Fairfax Media, 7th Mar 2012
This article was probably in the Drive Section of both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and a year later by accident, I found an advert in an American magazine which led me to put two and two together.
Assuming that the Falcon is facing "almost certain death" beyond 2016, Ford would need to source their large car from somewhere and perhaps the Ford Police Interceptor variant of the Taurus would be the logical replacement.
The Police Interceptor according to Ford's website, is pretty well much the same car as the Ford Taurus except with some differences in specification. Like the Taurus is sits on Ford's D3 platform and shares the same 3.5L V6 engine; as opposed to the current Falcon which sits on pretty well much the same platform as the XK Falcon did in 1960 and the block which started out at 2.3L which was eventually bored out to 4L in 1970.
The Taurus does have some variations such as the SHO (Super High Output) which comes with direct-injection and twin-turbo chargers but also intriguingly in four wheel drive which would probably satisfy Ford Australia's wishes as the standard Taurus comes in front wheel drive.
The Ford Territory which is derived from the Falcon could in theory be just as easily replaced with the Ford Explorer which also shares the same engines and drivetrain choices. This would leave only one problem with the ute unaccounted for but Ford being the company that it is, would just as likely foist upon Australia some variant of a future Ford Explorer Sport Trac like it did with North America, although maybe the current Ford Ranger is sufficient enough to the line up that an Australian built ute, is an extravagance that Ford simply can't be bothered with (I already suggested this in Horse 1175).
It's the numbers which really tell the scary part of this story, once you start putting things into metric, the blown 6 chucks out 272kW of power and 474Nm of torque. The blown 6 in the XR6 puts out 270kW and 533Nm. Apart from the amount of torque, which is still more than adequate to tow a caravan, pull stumps out of the ground and give you that nice kick in the bum when you put your foot down, the whole point of producing the Falcon at all starts to fade.
As for the last bastian of boganimity, the V8 Supercars, the Nissan Altima and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class have both proved that the public will still enjoy the spectacle irrespective of the brands competing. If Ford was serious about the game, then why are there only 6 Falcons? Surely if you want to make the brand and the model retain the profile, you'd be fighting harder. Instead, Ford seem content to let it roll over and die slowly. Pity really.
Maybe Ford would be content to put the Falcon nameplate on the Taurus for the Australian market. Making stick on badges is cheaper than running an entire plant here.