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Ford Australia cuts contract workforce

Ford Australia is cutting 120 jobs across its product development and design teams, but it says this tally includes only contractors and not permanent employees.

The cuts leave approximately 2300 workers remaining, a figure which also includes contractors.

“Ford is currently undergoing a global transformation, which includes implementing significant changes in priorities and organization consistent with the Ford+ plan for growth and value creation,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.

“As part of this, we have laid out clear targets to lower our cost structure to ensure we are lean and fully competitive with the best in the industry.”

The company says its contract workforce levels regularly change, based on its product development cycle. It says these cuts occur as it reaches the next phase of its product development and launch cycle.

While the Ranger and Everest are finally reaching showrooms after several years of design, development and engineering by Ford Australia, the company will continue to lead these two vehicle programs.

Ford Australia also says it will continue to contribute “extensively” to global programs.

It invested $12 million in an expansion of its Melbourne design studio, which opened last year.

The investment comes after Ford spent $1.9 billion in research and development in Australia between 2016 and 2019, followed by a $500 million spend in 2020.

It says it typically invests around $500 million each year in its local operations.

The 2300m2 expansion of the local design centre has seen it gain 100 new workstations, an extended clay modelling workshop, a virtual reality review space, and a new five-axis gantry milling centre for use by the team’s 40 clay modellers.

The design studio was where the Ford Falcon was designed, dating back to the XA of 1972. Also penned here was the locally-engineered Ford Territory.

Ford Australia designers and engineers have also worked on various products for China, India and South America which have never been sold here, including the Escort and the outgoing Taurus for the Chinese market.

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