Australia 1960-1968: Ford unveils Falcon to challenge Holden
After allowing Holden to be the only ‘true’ Australian car for 12 long years, Ford launched the Falcon in November 1960 and proposed an Australian-built alternative to the Holden sold in the country since 1948. The Falcon nameplate will end up being by far Ford’s most popular in Australia.
Unfortunately for Ford, the first generations of Falcon had reliability issues, and as a result, Holden keeps the lead by far in the Australian market with over 10,000 units sold per month throughout the sixties. In 1961, Holden holds 50% of the total market, with Ford #2 at 17% and Volkswagen (thanks to the Beetle) and BMC (thanks to the Mini) both at 8%.
In July 1963, the strongest ever month for the Australia market so far at 29,644 registrations, Holden is still the runaway leader with 46.9% of the market, ahead of Ford at 14.9% (including 10.6% for the Falcon), BMC boosted by the Mini at 12.2%, VW weaker due to the ageing Beetle at 7.1% and Chrysler revitalised by the Valiant at 6.2%.
Holden reacts in 1962 with the EJ then the EH in 1963 which would achieve the highest production rates in Holden’s history: 13,524 per month. Both Holden and Ford Falcon opt for more rectangular fronts in the second half of the decade…
The Falcon sees its monthly production go from 3,920 for the 1964 XM to 6,223 for the 1969 XW. Holden is still far ahead however, between 11,000 and 12.000 monthly units were produced during that period.
This period is also the time Japanese brands landed (successfully) in Australia. See the article about this change here:
Previous post: Australia 1949-1959: Holden ‘Australia’s own’ launches
MANY more vintage pictures, sales data and Holden/Falcon production figures below.
Australia July 1963 – Brands:
Volkswagen sales for 9 months ended September each year:
Ford Falcon Series production figures and monthly rates:
|Sep 1960-Aug 1962||XK||68,465||24||2,853|
|Aug 1962-Feb 1964||XL||75,765||19||3,988|
|Feb 1964-Feb 1965||XM||47,039||12||3,920|
|Sep 1966-Mar 1968||XR||90,810||19||4,779|
|Mar 1968-Jun 1969||XT||79,290||16||4,956|
|Jun 1969-Oct 1970||XW||105,785||17||6,223|
Holden Series Production Figures and Monthly Rates:
|May 1961-July 1962||EK||150,214||15||10,014|
|July 1962-Aug 1963||EJ||154,811||14||11,058|
|Aug 1963-Feb 1965||EH||256,959||19||13,524|
|Feb 1965-April 1966||HD||178,927||15||11,928|
|April 1966-Jan 1968||HR||253,352||22||11,516|
|Jan 1968-Apr 1969||HK||199,039||16||12,440|
|May 1969-July 1970||HT||183,402||15||12,227|
Source: Wikipedia, Wheels Magazine 1960-1968