- Ford of Britain
company_name = Ford of Britain
company_type = Subsidiary
company_slogan = Feel the difference
foundation = 1904
key_people = Roelant de Waard - Chairman and managing director
Sean McIlveen - director of human resources
Cathy O'Callaghan - director of finance
Ford Motor Company
homepage = [http://www.ford.co.uk/ www.ford.co.uk]
Ford Motor Company Limited was the manufacturing and sales arm of the
Ford Motor Companyfor the United Kingdom and originally also Ireland. The firm both sold and manufactured cars, commercial vehicles, and farm tractors for sale in the United Kingdom and other countries. In 1967, Ford Europewas formed when Ford of Britain became part of the new group.
The first Ford cars, three Model As, were imported into the UK in 1903 and the first dealership in
Southamptonopened in 1910. In 1909 the Ford Motor Company (England) Ltd. was established with an office in 55 Shaftesbury Avenue, London under the chairmanship of Percival Perry. An assembly plant in an old Tram factory in Trafford Park, Manchesterwas opened in 1911 employing 60 people to make the Model Tand the company was re-registered as Henry Ford & Son, Ltd. This was the first Ford factory outside North America. At first the cars were assembled from imported chassis and mechanical parts with bodies sourced locally, but in 1914 Britain's first moving assembly line for car production started with 21 cars an hour being built. Six thousand cars were produced in 1913 and the Model T became the country's biggest selling car with 30 % of the market. After the First World War, the Trafford Park plant was extended, and in 1919, 41 % of British registered cars were Fords.
In 1917, a plant opened in Cork, Ireland initially for tractor manufacture but from 1921 cars as well were built. This factory was the first to be purpose built by Ford in Europe. It closed in 1984.
Although the Manchester plant was served by the
Manchester Ship Canal, Ford decided that access to a deep water port was required and in 1923 a new site was chosen by the River Thamesat Dagenham, East London. Construction started in 1929, and in October 1931, Britain and Europe's largest car plant opened producing the Model AA truck and Model A car. The company also at the same time changed its name to the Ford Motor Co. Ltd. This was at the height of the Depression and the Model A was too expensive to tax and run in Britain and very few were sold, only five in the first three months. A smaller car was urgently needed and this came in 1933 with the 933 cc Model Y, a car much more suited to the market and becoming in 1935 Britain's first £100 car. Between 1932 and 1937 over 157,000 were made at Dagenham and Cork and at its peak it captured 41 % of its market sector.
World War 2
Second World War, the Dagenham plant turned out 360,000 vehicles and a new factory in Urmston, Manchester made 34,000 Rolls-Royce Merlinengines.
After World War Two, civilian production resumed and Dagenham made 115,000 vehicles in 1946 and factories in
Walthamstowin Essex(later London) and Langley in Buckinghamshire(later Berkshire) acquired. In 1953, Briggs Motor Bodies was purchased, giving the company more control of its supplies and at the same time acquiring further plants at Doncaster, Southampton, Croydonand Romford. By 1953, Ford of Britain directly employed 40,000 people.
In 1962, Ford opened a factory at
Halewoodnear Liverpoolto make the Anglia. This closed as a Ford plant when the last Escort came off the production line in 2000 and was then converted to make the Jaguar X-Typein 2001.
Another new factory opened at
Basildonin 1964 to make tractors, and in 1965, a further plant was acquired in Swanseato make chassis components and axles.
Ford produced a range of commercial vehicles starting with the Model TT in 1917. From 1933 to 1939, these were badged as "Fordson"s, this changed to "Fordson Thames" until 1957 after which it became plain "Thames" until 1965. From 1965, they reverted to being called "Ford". After the closure of Trafford Park most of the larger commercials were built at Langley. The truck operation was sold to the
Ivecogroup of Italy in 1986 and became Iveco Ford (48 % owned by Ford). The Langley plant closed in 1997.
Ford Model T(1913 - 1927)
Ford Model A(1928 - 1931)
* Ford Model B (1932 - 1935)
Ford Model Y(1932 - 1937)
Ford 7Y(1937 - 1939)
Ford V8(1932 - 1939)
Ford Model C Ten(1935 - 1937)
Ford Anglia(1939 - 1967)
* Ford Prefect (1939 - 1961)
* Ford V8 Pilot (1947 - 1951)
Ford Consul(1950 - 1962)
Ford Zephyr(1951 - 1972)
Ford Zodiac(1954 - 1972)
Ford Popular(1953 - 1962)
* Ford Escort/Squire (1955 - 1961)
* Ford Consul Classic (1961 - 1963)
Ford Capri(1961 - 1964)
Ford Cortina(1962 - 1982)
Ford Corsair(1963 - 1970)
Ford GT40(1966 - 1968)
* Ford Escort (1968 - 2000)
Ford Capri(1969 - 1986)
Ford Granada(1972 - 1994)
Ford Sierra(1982 - 1993)
Note - cwt is the abbreviation of hundredweight (112 pounds or 1/20 ton)
Ford Model TT1 ton 1917-
Ford Model AA30cwt 1928-
* Ford Model BB 1932-
Ford Model Y5 cwt 1932-1937
* Thames/Fordson E83W 10cwt van and pick-up 1938-1957
* Fordson E04C 5 cwt 1945-1948
* Fordson E494C 5 cwt 1948-1954
* Thames/Fordson 300E 5 cwt 1954
* Thames 400E 10,12,15 cwt
Thames 300E5 & 7 cwt 1954 to 1961
* Thames 307E 5cwt
Thames Trader30 cwt, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7-ton 1957-1962
* Thames Trader MkII 1962-1965
* Ford H 1962-
* Ford K (Trader rename) 1965-
* Ford D 2 to 8 tons
* Ford D800
* Ford D1000 1967-
* Ford Cargo 1981-1993
* [http://www.ford.co.uk/ Ford UK official website]
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