Ford Australia and Prodrive recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Ford to purchase the assets of FPV required to engineer, manufacture and market the FPV brand in Australia.
Negotiations are expected to be completed shortly, with Ford to take responsibility for future activities of FPV from the end of 2012. Ford will become responsible for all future development programs, the manufacture of FPV engines and vehicles, and marketing the FPV brand.
Until now, FPV has operated under a Joint Venture agreement between Prodrive (51%) and Ford Australia (49%). The change follows a review by the partners of the FPV business and both partners concluding the current business situation was unsustainable in the long-term.
“We recognise the passion and dedication of FPV enthusiasts and their desire to see Ford high-performance vehicles available in the market,” said Ford Australia President & CEO Bob Graziano.
“Although this segment of the market is relatively niche, it is an important part of Ford’s performance history and DNA. Both partners have worked hard to ensure the FPV brand can continue to thrive in Australia post the change to our current arrangements.”
Production of FPV engines will move to Ford’s Geelong engine plant, while full vehicle assembly will take place at Ford’s Campbellfield plant. The additional work at both sites will offset the need for a small number of the previously announced redundancies across both sites.
Unfortunately, although Ford can take on responsibility for the FPV brand and in-source the manufacturing and other work, the change will see approximately 32 FPV staff become redundant at the end of 2012. All entitlements and other benefits for those staff will be provided.
“As a result of the business review, Prodrive has made the decision to exit the performance car market at the end of 2012,” said Prodrive Managing Director Bryan Mears.
“We have enjoyed great success through our partnership with Ford Australia and look forward to watching the FPV brand continue to thrive in the future.”
FPV vehicles will continue to be sold through Ford’s dedicated network of FPV specialist dealers Australia. There will be no change to current service and warranty arrangements.
“Our current and future customers should experience little, if any, change to the way they interact with the FPV brand,” said Graziano. “We look forward to continue providing them with the outstanding performance and specialist service they have enjoyed to date.”