Ford and GM Utes one step closer to the US

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, May 31, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    U(te)SA: Aussie utes including the Falcon could head Stateside following the Australia-US free trade agreement.

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    Local car-makers plot ute exports as details of the USA-Australia FTA emerge

    By MARTON PETTENDY

    UPBEAT Ford Australia president Geoff Polites has led a gaggle of local car company chiefs in welcoming the US free trade agreement, signalling a major shift in the Blue Oval’s export thinking.

    Responding to Monday’s FTA announcement, which is yet to ratified by the US Congress and Australian Parliament, Mr Polites was more positive than ever about vehicle export potential for Ford Australia, pledging his company was ready to meet opportunities presented by the opening of the US auto industry.

    “It is too early to determine any future plans, but the FTA will allow Ford to examine new market possibilities that were previously not available due to prohibitive import duties to the US,” he said.

    “Ford Australia has a proven track record of developing award-winning vehicles within a flexible and cost-effective manufacturing environment.

    “We believe that Ford Australia is well placed to meet these new challenges while also looking for the opportunities that come from the opening of the US market.”

    In his capacity as Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries president, Mr Polites said the FCAI hopes the new deal, which ends a 25 per cent tariff on utility vehicle exports to the US, will further underpin the establishment of a foothold in the world’s largest automotive market for local car-makers and component suppliers.

    “The agreement also opens up the possibility that Australian manufacturers will be able to take advantage of new opportunities for exports of utility vehicles to the United States,” he said.

    Holden was the first of the big four Aussie vehicle manufacturers to praise the FTA, issuing a press release on Monday.

    Holden chairman and managing director Denny Mooney said the agreement would provide increased opportunities for both countries to import and export vehicles and components, as well as drive competition in local new vehicle and components markets.

    “From the Australian perspective, we believe it will provide the best possible opportunities for Australian car-makers and component manufacturers seeking to export to the United States.

    “It is also a positive outcome from an import perspective because Holden is the industry’s largest importer of engine components and transmissions from the United States.

    “It is a great boost for any manufacturer or supplier sourcing components from the US because it will make their products more competitive for Australian buyers,” he said.

    Both Holden and Ford have utility vehicles based on the Commodore and Falcon respectively that shape up as potential US exports if the FTA gets green lighted and the 25 per cent 'chicken tax' on commercial vehicles is scrapped.

    GM product czar Bob Lutz has already confirmed plans to make the V8 SS Commodore Ute the new-generation Chevrolet El Camino SS.

    But Mr Mooney is also keen to bolster Holden's SUV stocks in Australia with a large off-roader to take on the likes of the Toyota LandCruiser. The Chevy Trailblazer - based on the GMT360 platform - has been mooted as a candidate for import to Australia by Mr Mooney.

    Mitsubishi Motors Australia spokesman Charles Isles said the FTA would impact positively on the increasing number of components MMAL sources from the US, though cutting the current 2.5 per cent duty on passenger vehicle exports to the US would have only a minor effect on the profitability of MMAL’s US-market Diamante.

    Toyota Australia is the least affected of the local car manufacturers as it does not export to the US and has a local sourcing policy to minimise offshore component sourcing.

    Toyota Australia spokesman Peter Griffin said increased economies of scale among local suppliers would be of greatest interest to Toyota, but was wary the FTA had not yet been finalised. It’s believed a working FTA with the US is as much as 12 months away.

    “Our position at the moment is that we’re going to continue talking to the federal government just to determine what the full implications of this are going to be,” he said.

    “Given that it’s yet to go through Congress and the houses of Parliament here, there’s some way to travel. So from a short-term perspective it doesn’t really make much difference to us.

    “The tariff on passenger cars (imported to Australia) doesn’t go to zero until 2010, so that’s still some time off. We’ve made a big investment in Camry and will continue down that path and we also want to continue down the path of being the largest exporter.

    “We look at local suppliers as an integral part of that too, so if there’s benefits from a supplier point of view via economies of scale that would be positive.”

    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade figures showed the US was the second largest automotive product importer to Australia (behind Japan) in 2002-03, totalling $2.5 billion.

    However, given the US was the second largest export destination for Australian automotive products in the 2002-03 financial year (behind Saudi Arabia), at about $900 million, it appears the big FTA winners will be Australia’s automotive component suppliers.
     
  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Holden Ute SS,

    Gen. III 5.7 litre LS1 V8 - 330 horsepower / 340 foot-pounds torque
    Final drive ratio six-speed 3.46 / automatic 3.08
    Front and Rear Independent Suspension
    Weight - six-speed 3,567 pounds / automatic 3,580 pounds
    Maximum Bed Payload - 1,455 pounds
    Maximum Towing - 3,527 pounds (both transmissions)
    Base price in US dollars - $28,874.22

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    Ford Falcon XR6T / XR8 Utes,

    XR6T Barra 240T 4.0 litre I-6 turbo - 322 horsepower / 332 foot-pounds torque
    XR8 Boss 260 5.4 litre V8 - 348 horsepower / 369 foot-pounds torque
    Final drive ratio five-speed 3.28 / automatic 3.28
    Front and Rear Independent Suspension
    Weight - XR6T 3,858 pounds (manual) 3,917 pounds (automatic) / XR8 3,968 pounds (manual) 4,016 pounds (automatic)
    Maximum Bed Payload - XR6T 1,300 pounds / XR8 1,102 pounds
    Maximum Towing - XR6T 2,645 pounds / XR8 3,527 pounds
    Base price in US dollars - XR6T $28,308.32 / XR8 $29,201.60

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  3. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  4. superVT

    superVT Guest

    love your work TriShield.
     
  5. :ugh:
     
  6. sammyk

    sammyk Guest

    Ah yes, and here I thought the days of the Ranchero and El Camino were behind us. With that said, that Falcon does look nice. :o
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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  8. Bloke

    Bloke Banned

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    wow theyre expensive
     
  9. SycoPhant

    SycoPhant Get out my way

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    To Hell With Those Fucking Ugly Bitches
    Bring Us The Real Fucking Falcon
     
  10. C4

    C4 OT OG Aussie #1

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    sad to see people sackride over utes that people drive to work with all their builders gear and toolboxes and shit every day over here :o
     
  11. sammyk

    sammyk Guest

  12. JConnX

    JConnX Guest

    :wtf:

    It's a modern El Camino? :ugh:
     
  13. Dumpster_chicken

    Dumpster_chicken OT Supporter

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    Next Rancho and El Camino?
     
  14. BrianG

    BrianG Guest

    :x: man, i hope the XR6 turbo makes it here.
    but i don't see americans buying those aussie el camino/ute trucks w/ a spoiler..
    i mean, you can't even fit 20"s on that whip, much less than a set of 24"s
     
  15. C4

    C4 OT OG Aussie #1

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    if people are going to fuck them up with 24's then i hope they never get there
     
  16. VBGOD

    VBGOD Guest

  17. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    I generally hate those kinds of things but these look :cool:
     
  18. vikingen

    vikingen OT Supporter

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    what do we get in exchange ?
     
  19. C4

    C4 OT OG Aussie #1

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    hopefully it'll be fuckloads cheaper to get corvettes :x:
     
  20. slowbird

    slowbird I am the son, and the heir, of a shyness that is c OT Supporter

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    If they brought the Ford ute over as a Ranchero and the Falcon sedan, that would be pretty ironic since the early 60's Ranchero was based on the Falcon.
     
  21. Abraxis

    Abraxis Denny Crane.

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    The Falcon one looks pretty good. Not too crazy about either, just hard to get a boxey bed to match up with the lines of today's cars. Still love an old '70 Elky SS 454 though. Or that last one with the Monte SS nose. :cool:
     
  22. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It's a good possibility HSV dealers will be able to sell a few hundred 2005 Corvettes, and Holden dealers may get new Cadillacs, and rebadged Chevrolet trucks instead of rebadged Isuzu trucks.

    Ford will continue to sell the F-Series Super Duty, Explorer and the Escape (gas and hybrid). It doesn't sound like the redesigned Mustang will make it there.
     
  23. n2_space

    n2_space Space > *.*

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    :werd:
     
  24. Seeker

    Seeker Brofessional OT Supporter

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    I'd really prefer the sedans, but I'd take a Ute, too.

    If I can get either in a 4-door crew cab configuration(Doesn't the Holden have one?), I'd love to have one. :bigthumb:
     
  25. nucl3ar

    nucl3ar Guest

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