23 July 2016
The Ford Motor Company sold its first car, the Model A, on 23 July 1903
On this day in history, 1903: The Ford Motor Company sells its first car, the Model A.
US industrialist Henry Ford (born in Michigan in 1863) had started his own car company under the name Henry Ford Company in 1901, before leaving the firm and launching the Ford Motor Company in 1903 in a converted factory, manufacturing a few cars a day. Within 10 years the company was leading the world in assembly line production.
Three Model A Fords were imported into the UK in 1903 and the first Ford dealership in Southampton opened in 1910. Ford’s first UK assembly plant (and the first outside North America) opened in an old tram factory in Trafford Park, Manchester in 1911 to make the Model T.
The Ford Motor Company Limited (later Ford of Britain) later established major manufacturing sites in Cork, Ireland and in the UK, including Dagenham (Europe’s largest), Bridgend and Halewood. By 1932 Ford was making one-third of the world's motor vehicles. Today, 103 years after its foundation, the Ford Motor Company is still one of the largest family-run companies in the world.
If any of your relatives worked for Ford, check in local archives to see what records they hold. For example, you can find a family history guide to the Dagenham plant at www.lbbd.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Infosheet1-Ford-Motor-Company.pdf.
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