2016 was a big year with our choice of new cars ever expanding, from the Ford Mustang through to the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class and everything in between. There were cars released for enthusiasts, an expansion of electric vehicles and more dual-cabs to capture this forever growing segment.
2016 was also a year the industry lost some cars and the first of our major car manufacturing plants. Here’s some examples for the history books:
Opening in 1925 as an outpost of Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, with the first products produced were Model Ts assembled from complete knock-down (CKD) kits provided by Ford of Canada. Ford Australia was best known for producing the Falcon and Territory, although many other models were assembled here over time including the Anglia, Cortina and Telstar
Manufactured in Australia since 1960, the Ford Falcon is a household name. Variants of the Falcon consisted of sedans, utes, station wagons, panel vans and hardtop coupes. The last Falcon rolled off the production line on 7th of October.
Based on the BA Series Falcon platform and introduced in 2004, the Ford Territory won many awards, including ‘Wheels Car of the Year’ in 2004, driven by its car-like handling and practicality. Like the Falcon, production also ended on 7th of October.
After five years and 125,000 units of production, Holden Cruze was the last small car manufactured in Australia. The Cruze was well priced at around 25k, with generous features and local build quality.
Land Rover’s iconic Defender was first introduced in 1948 as the Land Rover Ninety and Land Rover One Ten, and maintained a reputation over its marathon 68-year production life as one of the toughest off-road vehicles available. The last Defender was produced during January, 2016.
Since 1992, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (the ‘Evo’) was the envy of car enthusiasts that wanted superior performance and handling, without paying the roof. Whilst Japanese-spec cars were limited to a ‘unwritten agreement’ of 206kW, various versions exceeded 320kW. Its light weight of approx. 1500kg contributing to quick acceleration and rail-like handling!
Launched in Australia during 2011, Toyota’s FJ Cruiser was an acquired taste that attracted over 10,000 sales in its time. It featured genuine off-road abilities with locking rear differentials, switchable active traction control and better approach/departure angles then the Landcruiser and Prado.
Whilst the Volkswagen EOS stopped production late 2015, new sales continued throughout the first half of 2016 with an unscheduled final production run. Sales in Australia commenced in 2007 and concluded in 2014 after poor sales.
Produced in 1998, with a second generation in 2006, the Volvo S80 was an executive car with above average safety features which we can expect from all Volvo’s. Special versions were produced including official state cars which transport the King of Sweden and the King of The Netherlands.