Quite apart from the job losses within Ford and its suppliers, the biggest disappointment about the announced closure of Ford Australia’s manufacturing operations is that the company never played the ‘Aussie-made card’, Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive, Ian Harrison, says.
“Today’s sad announcement is not a reflection on the engineering or build quality of the current models – which are brilliant – it is the marketing of Ford’s Australian-made products that has been the biggest disappointment,” Mr Harrison said.
“A campaign based around its Australian workforce could have had a huge impact,” he said.
“For some time now there has been a growing sense of uncertainty in the community about future job prospects, and in this type of environment consumers are far more receptive to a campaign focussed on the consequences of their shopping decisions. Ford never seemed to grasp this.”
According to recently released research by Roy Morgan Research*, 88.5% are more likely to buy Australian-made products over products manufactured in other countries.
Today’s announcement sends yet another message to Governments, at all levels, to provide support for an ongoing campaign educating consumers about the value of buying Australian.
“It is important that we keep the benefits of buying Australian top of mind, so that when it comes down to actual purchase decisions, particularly on goods as significant as motor vehicles, consumers can make informed decisions,” Mr Harrison said.
“The irony of course is that Ford will continue to sell its range of imported cars in Australia; all of which will be subsidised to some extent by Governments elsewhere. Meanwhile a truly world-class, Australian-made product is now going out the back door.
“Australia has become a high cost country; we have an overvalued $AUD and we have had a quantum shift in consumer preference for small imported passenger vehicles. But the marketing for the Falcon and the Territory could have been so much better.”
The Australian Made Campaign is the not-for-profit organisation that administers the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo. The AMAG logo is the registered certification trade mark that labels a product as authentically made or grown in Australia.
*Roy Morgan Research 2013