Ford in Geelong
The Ford Motor Company began its Australian manufacturing in Geelong back in 1925 and although times have and are constantly changing, Ford is still today a major employer in our city.
Much has changed since the early days of assembling Model T vehicles in a wool store off Gheringhap Street nearly 90 years ago. In 1926 their North Geelong factory opened and the companies head office was ran out of the beautiful art deco red brick building now a heritage feature along the Melbourne Road.
Major expansion took place during the 1960’s to make way for the Falcon range of vehicles seeing stamping, engine plants components and product engineering operations expand. The 60’s also saw the head office and the assembly plants moved to a new Broadmeadows facility.
Around this time Ford also invested in a proving ground that was built near the You Yangs, to the north of Lara. The proving ground is used to not only test Australian built Fords but also cars that are to be manufactured and sold in other parts of the world.
Due to market conditions and changes worldwide, the company has decide to cease local manufacturing in Australia, this will see both of its manufacturing facilities including the Geelong facilities close in late 2016. This brings an end to 90 years of manufacturing and 56 years of the Ford Falcon and over a decade of the popular Territory SUV.
Over the past few years Ford Australia has been working on transforming its business into a sales and more importantly a product development operation, designing, engineering and testing vehicles for the world. Ford has been growing their engineering facilities in Geelong and at their high tech proving ground and testing facilities only minutes from Geelong, and are continuing to be a major contributor to our region. Camouflaged prototype vehicles have become a regular sighting around our city and region of late. With the success of Geelong designed and engineered vehicles like the Ranger, sights of prototype Fords on our streets will be seen for years to come.