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Ford Falcon slides into sales obscurity

Struggler: Ford has raised the price of blown Falcon variants by up to $1000, despite slipping sales.

One-time sales champ Ford Falcon skids to 53rd in February sales, despite facelift

4 Mar 2015

THE Australian-made car that 20 years ago stood atop the sales podium as the number one motor vehicle in Australia managed just 53rd place in the February new-car sales rankings, according to official VFACTS sales data.

The Ford Falcon sedan had 501 sales for the month, down 8.7 per cent on the same month last year and placing it behind imported niche vehicles such as BMW’s luxury X5 SUV (523 units), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (842) and Honda HR-V (825).

While Falcon’s traditional rival, the Holden Commodore, scored fourth place in the February nameplate rankings with 2517 sales and a 75 per cent share of the large-car segment, Ford’s local hero garnered 15 per cent, despite a recent facelift.

Even when Falcon sedan sales are combined with those of the related Territory SUV that serves as a wagon on the Blue Oval Aussie range, the total of 1284 is about half that of the Commodore and still falls outside the top 10, behind cars such as the Volkswagen Golf (1735).

To add insult to injury, the Commodore Ute also outsold the Falcon workhorse by a similar margin, 455 to 227.

And to compound the Falcon situation, Ford Australia has just raised the list price of its sporty Falcon XR6 Turbo by $500, to $43,490 plus on-road costs, and the XR8 by $1000, to $53,490, according to the latest RJ Pound price guide.

In 1995, the EF Falcon sedan and wagon range sold at the rate of more than 6000 a month, accumulating 81,366 sales for the year against the Commodore’s 80,452.

And while it has been mostly downhill for both of these vehicles since then, it has been the Falcon that has taken the biggest hit in the showroom, declining 92 per cent compared with the big Holden’s 62 per cent slide.

Both models are set to bite the dust when Australian manufacturing ends by the end of 2017, with the Falcon scheduled to go in October 2016 and the Commodore a year later.

In February, Australian-built cars accounted for just 8.4 per cent of total sales – 7598 units – compared with 8442 units or 9.7 per cent in the corresponding month last year.

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