Ford Australia president Geoff Polites claims he’ll step down if the redesigned Falcon, due for release in September, is not a success, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) said.

The normally secretive Down Under Ford subsidiary has been ‘leaking’ details to prospective buyers for some time with a teaser campaign on a special Internet site and bus shelter advertising.

Thinly-disguised prototypes have also been spotted on test near the company’s Melbourne headquarters.

The SMH said that the new the new Falcon is a make-or-break car for Ford Australia whose market share is the lowest for a decade.

The current controversially styled model has been outsold by GM’s rival Holden Commodore – also a rear drive car powered by six-cylinder or V8 engines – almost two-to-one, the SMH added.

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According to the SMH, when asked whether the new car would turn Ford’s hopes around, Polites said: “If it bloody well doesn’t I’m looking for a job.”

The SMH said that when asked if the Commodore – the top-selling car in Australia and neighbouring New Zealand – had peaked, Polites answered: “I think so. I would expect… they will find it a lot harder. If they don’t find it a lot harder I will be looking for a new job. I won’t be pushed – I’ll jump.”

The SMH said that Polites, asked if he was staking his job on the car, then said he was joking but the newspaper added that the former Sydney Ford dealer is “betting the farm” on the substantially redesigned Falcon.

So far, Ford has revealed the next Falcon’s colour range, seats and redesigned rear suspension, the SMH said.

Australian journalists have reported that the new model will be restyled with softer lines and a less intrusive grille than the current hard-edged car and will finally get independent rear suspension, which Holden introduced on the Commodore as an option about a decade ago and, more recently, made standard.

The lack of IRS is understood to have cost the Falcon sales in the decades-old market share feud between the two car makers’ home-grown big car designs.

The Falcon’s ageing in-line six cylinder engine, the basic design of which goes back decades, is also understood to have cost Ford sales against the GM rival which uses a contemporary US-designed, Australian-assembled V6.

Both models also offer optional V8s, imported from their US parent companies.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Ford’s Polites defended the decision to release information about the new Falcon ahead of the launch, saying: “There is some risk to this strategy but the benefits quite clearly outweigh the negatives. We have such a big story we want to make sure we get it out.

“There is an awful lot of expectation. This is all part of rebuilding the brand. This is the Ford Motor Company building a new car, so we’ve decided to do something different. We are deliberately being provocative and innovative.”

Polites told the SMH that he believed the Falcon name and the Ford brand are capable of a “rapid resurgence” [after flagging in Australia for some years as the Commodore has increased its lead yearly] and the success of the Falcon ute [a one-tonne Chevrolet Camino-style pickup truck rivalling a similar Holden Commodore derivative] was proof that the Antipodean outpost could turn around quickly.