Ford Australia timeline

Ford Australia timeline

A timeline of Ford's time in Australia.


1925 – Ford Motor Company of Australia incorporated – amalgamating distribution from state-based agents. Manufacture of Model T and Fordson tractors begins at temporary premises in Geelong, Victoria.

1926 – Major manufacturing plants built in Geelong, Brisbane and Adelaide.

1929 – Freemantle assembly plant opens in Western Australia.

1934 – The world’s first coupe-utility model – designed by Australian Lew Bandt – begins production.

1936 – Homebush assembly plant opens in Sydney.

1952 – V8 Customline sedan and Australian-designed Mainline utility released, along with smaller, six-cylinder Zephyr and Zephyr utility.

1954 – Geelong factory receives half-million-dollar overhaul with new stamping presses.

1955 – Overhead-valve V8 introduced in Customline and Mainline.

1958 – Construction begins on Broadmeadows assembly plant in outer Melbourne. Engine plant upgraded in Geelong.

Ford Australia

1959 – Broadmeadows plant opens in August. First car produced is a ‘Tank’ Fairlane.

1960 – First six-cylinder Falcon engine is completed on April 29 in Geelong. First fully-built XK Falcon leaves the Broadmeadows production line on June 28.

1961 – Manufacturing capacity is increased from 50,000 to 90,000 vehicles per year. Falcon utility and panel van added to range.

1962 – XL Falcon and first Cortina launched. Total Falcon production reaches 100,000.

1964 – New $2 million head office opens at Broadmeadows. XM Falcon launches with new two-door Hardtop.

1965 – You Yangs proving ground opens at Lara, Victoria. 70,000-mile Durability Run demonstrates the toughness of the re-engineered XP Falcon. XP wins WHEELS Car of the Year award.

1966 – XR Falcon range released with optional V8 engine. Falcon wins WHEELS Car of the Year award for the second year running. Brisbane plant receives $2 million upgrade.

1967 – Australia’s first muscle car – the XR Falcon GT – introduced, along with long-wheelbase ZA Fairlane. XR GT wins Bathurst 500. One-millionth Australian-built Ford produced.

1969 – XW Falcon introduces legendary HO (Handling Option) package for the GT.

1970 – CKD (Completely Knocked Down) exports hit 30,000. XY Falcon released as Ford announces $45 million expansion. Escort begins production.

1971 – XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III introduced to win Bathurst – fills all podium positions. Truck assembly plant opens in Broadmeadows.

1972 – First all-Australian Falcon introduced (the XA), along with Aussie-designed two-door Hardtop.

1974 – Ford Asia-Pacific regional office opens in Melbourne.

1975 – Ford Louisville truck begins local assembly in right-hand drive.

1976 – $72 million investment in new product and facilities announced.

1977 – Plastics plant expanded. Ford achieves famous one-two at Bathurst.

1979 – New-generation XD Falcon – first mass-produced vehicle in the world with a plastic fuel tank.

1980 – $300 million investment program includes Alloy Head engines for Falcon. Homebush plant gets $13 million upgrade to prepare for Laser.

1981 – Locally-built Laser enters production at Homebush. Becomes an immediate best-seller.

1982 – Ford achieves market leadership at Holden’s expense. XE Falcon is our best-selling car.

1983 – $70 million four-cylinder engine plant built in Geelong, but Ford drops the Falcon V8.

1984 – XF Falcon helps Ford achieve top spot in passenger and overall vehicle sales.

1985 – Ford Australia sells a record 170,811 units. Broadmeadows gets new paint facility.

1988 – All-new EA Falcon launched.

1989 – Ford is market leader in sales for the ninth consecutive year.

1990 – Aussie-designed Capri convertible is exported to the US badged as a Mercury.

1991 – The V8 is revived in the EB Falcon. Capri exports pass 30,000.

Ford Australia

1993 – ED Falcon is Australia’s best-selling car.

1994 – Homebush assembly plant in Sydney closes – Laser now fully-imported from Japan. Capri production ceases.

1995 – Ford is number one in passenger and overall sales. EF Falcon is Australia’s best-selling car.

1996 – Falcon exports resume to South Africa.

1998 – All-new AU Falcon launched. Brisbane assembly plant closes.

1999 – Ford Tickford Experience (FTE) models introduced as a rival to Holdden Special vehicles (HSV).

2002 – Heavily re-engineered BA Falcon launched – first Falcon to win WHEELS Car of the Year since 1966.

2003 – BA Falcon sales reach 73,220. Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) replaces FTE.

2004 – Australia’s first home-grown SUV – the Territory – is released and wins WHEELS Car of the Year award.

2005 – BF Falcon is released.

2008 – Fairlane and LTD production ceases. New-generation FG Falcon is released and sells 31,936 units. Ford announces $21 million investment at Geelong engine plant, stating 4.0-litre in-line six will continue in production at beyond 2010.

Ford Australia

2011 – FG Falcon sales slip to 18,741.

2012 – Four-cylinder, turbocharged Falcon Ecoboost introduced.

2013 – Ford Australia announces it will cease local manufacture in October 2016.

*Source material: True Blue - 75 Years of Ford in Australia, Bill Tuckey

We're giving away the last great Aussie Holden V8! Enter here for your chance to win!

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.