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Planned new Ford Australia national sales company office
<p><strong>Planned new Ford Australia national sales company office.</strong></p>

Ford Oz Plans Transition to Sales, Engineering Only

The automaker plans a new national sales company and says serious R&amp;D work will still go on in Australia, where its car manufacturing is slated to end next year.

Ford Australia will establish a new national sales office and move some of its engineering team to its head office building at Broadmeadows outside Melbourne.

The sales office, to open in the middle of the year, will be located near central Melbourne in the state of Victoria.

The moves, as Ford transitions solely to a sales company when local manufacturing ends in 2016, is part of the more than A$300 million ($234.6 million) earmarked for local product-development operations.

As part of Ford’s growing Asia-Pacific Engineering Center in Australia, the automaker will establish Broadmeadows as an engineering campus leveraging recently updated design facilities.

The advanced research and testing facilities in Geelong and Lara in Victoria will continue unchanged.

Ford insists it represents the future of innovation in Australia with a growing engineering center and plans to become the country’s largest auto company after 2017 with a 1,500-strong workforce.

It says its team will continue to design, engineer and test vehicles with leading quality, fuel economy, safety and smart technologies for customers around the world.

“Ford is investing heavily in innovation, and our Australian team will be a key part of delivering even more-advanced vehicles in the future as one of our four engineering centers of excellence globally,” says Graydon Reitz, Ford’s Melbourne-based director-engineering and product development in Asia-Pacific. “No other auto company is investing this heavily in Australia.”

About 200 employees, contractors and other support staff from the marketing, sales and service team and supporting functions will establish the new national sales company.

Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano says in a statement the national sales office site was selected to capitalize on the area’s vibrancy and related employee-satisfaction benefits. The location also provides better access to more consumers and key business partners, such as its advertising agency located in Richmond.

“The transformation of Ford’s head office into the Asia-Pacific Engineering Center will signal that we will be the only automotive company that can fully develop vehicles in Australia,” Graziano says.

It just won’t be able to build them.

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