Ford finds 100 good rea­sons to cel­e­brate ‘made in Bri­tain’

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

FROM Ford’s ar­chives cel­e­brat­ing 100 years in Bri­tain: The elec­tric 1967 Ford Comuta con­cept was ca­pa­ble of 40mph and 40 miles on a full charge.

Ford’s as­sis­tant man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at the time, Leonard Cross­land, recog­nised elec­tric mo­tors would not re­place com­bus­tion en­gines for long jour­neys, say­ing: “…their uses will be pri­mar­ily as city cen­tre de­liv­ery vans and sub­ur­ban shop­ping cars”. Ford will fi­nally de­liver an elec­tric Fo­cus next year.

The Blue Oval brand has plenty of cel­e­bra­tions this year. Tues­day was its cen­te­nary birth­day in Bri­tain and later this year it marks 100 years of car mak­ing in Bri­tain, mostly in Eng­land. It has led the car sales ta­ble for the last 34 years and the com­mer­cial sec­tor for 45 years.

The Ford plants, at Brid­gend, in South Wales, and Da­gen­ham, in East Lon­don, have the com­bined ca­pac­ity to as­sem­ble two mil­lion en­gines an­nu­ally, and one in three Ford cars glob­ally is pow­ered by a UK en­gine.

Ford di­rectly em­ploys more than 15,000 peo­ple, many in skilled roles de­vel­op­ing and build­ing high-tech­nol­ogy, fuel-efficient, low-CO2 en­gines. A fur­ther 100,000

Henry Ford founded the US com­pany in 1903. In Oc­to­ber 1911, Traf­ford Park, Manch­ester, pro­duced the Model T, the first Ford made out­side Amer­ica. Da­gen­ham made its first ve­hi­cle, a Model AA truck, in Oc­to­ber, 1931.

On the track, the brand has been a true le­gend, with stacks of world and club rally wins. Its Slough-built GT40 took the first three places at Le Mans in 1966.

Ford events are be­ing held around the coun­try, in­clud­ing at the Na­tional Mo­tor Mu­seum at Beaulieu, Hamp­shire, the Her­itage Mo­tor Cen­tre at Gay­don, War­wick­shire, and Septem­ber’s Good­wood Re­vival.

The em­i­nent critic, Eric Dy­mock, has writ­ten The Ford in Bri­tain Cen­te­nary File. (www.dovepub­lish­ing. co.uk)

SEE­ING THE FU­TURE:

STILL GO­ING STRONG: Ford con­tin­ues to make the iconic Transit in Bri­tain.

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