Ford Australian factories given lifeline
FORD has finally found a buyer for two of its local manufacturing plants.
Victorian developer Pelligra Group bought the Geelong engine plant and Broadmedows assembly line sites, to be renamed Fortek and Assembly.
Pelligra, the company that bought the former Holden Elizabeth manufacturing plant in 2017, plans to invest $500m in the renewal project with the aim of attracting manufacturing and tech innovation companies.
Chairman Ross Pelligra says the development will create thousands of new jobs during and after construction.
"We are committed to ultimately delivering 4000−5000 jobs in the next five to 10 years, with the first manufacturing tenants anticipated to start work on site within a year." he says.
Ford will keep its research and development facilities at both sites, as well as the You Yangs proving ground.
The Blue Oval will invest more than $500m this year in research and development in Australia, maintaining hundreds of local jobs.
Ford Australia boss Kay Hart says the company is happy that the sale can help boost innovation and development in Victoria.
"We are pleased that Pelligra Group will build on Ford's ongoing engineering and design presence by adding new opportunities for innovation, ideas and business in Geelong and Broadmeadows," says Hart.
"Ford's Geelong and Broadmeadows sites have played a central role in the history of Australia's auto industry as centres of technical excellence and have been part of the fabric of the local communities for generations."
Ford Australia ended manufacturing in October 2016 ending 91 years of local production. The closure resulted in the demise of local favourites, the Falcon and Territory. However, as Australian buyers were increasingly moving away from large sedans, the Falcon no longer sold in sustainable numbers.