May 22, 2013 / 11:35 PM / 5 years ago

Ford to close Australia auto plants: reports

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) is set to announce it is closing its two Australian auto plants and will cease production in the country by 2016 as it struggles with sliding sales, high costs and a strong Australian dollar, local media reported on Thursday.

The logo of Ford Motor Co is seen at the company's assembly plant after an emergency meeting with the plant management in Genk October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Ford is set to close its engine plant in Geelong and its assembly plant in Broadmeadows, both in the state of Victoria, News Ltd reported.

Ford was not immediately available for comment but had planned an announcement for later on Thursday, according to the report. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said it was preparing to make a statement.

Ford has been in Australia since 1925 and employs more than 3,000 people, according to its website.

Last month General Motors Holden, the Australian unit of General Motors Co (GM.N), said it was cutting 500 jobs, or 18 percent of its workforce, as the unprecedented strength of the Australian dollar left it unable to compete with foreign rivals.

Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Stephen Coates

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