Ford’s Manufacturing History in Canada
Before the modern Ford Company came to be, its to-be founder, Henry Ford, first attempted to create a marketable automotive company under the name “Henry Ford Company”. It was founded on the 3rd of November, 1901, which, in a quick switch, became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22nd, 1902 with Ford leaving with the rights to his name.
He saw this as an opportunity rather than a setback, and on the 16th of June, 1903, less than a year after leaving Cadillac, Ford founded the “Ford Motor Company”. Setting up a small factory on Mack Avenue, the early successes allowed the Ford Company to move to Piquette Avenue in Detroit, where it would go on to grow at a nearly exponential rate.
Unlike many companies from the period, the Ford Motor Company continues to be owned by the Ford Family, a tradition that is now over 100 years young. Still, from humble beginnings, it has continued to grow with recognition as being the second-largest U.S. automaker, as well as earning the title of fifth-largest based on vehicle sales. With over 210,000 employees worldwide working in 90 plants and facilities, it’s difficult not to see the early days of the automotive revolution when you look at Ford.
Only slightly beyond a year into producing vehicles in the United States, the Ford Motor Company of Canada was founded on August 17th, 1904. Established with the intention of manufacturing and selling vehicles in both Canada and the British Empire, prior to taking on the Ford name the company was known as Walkerville Wagon Works and was located in Walkerville, Ontario – an area that has since been conglomerated into Windsor.
Interestingly, the Ford Motor Company of Canada was not a subsidiary or manufacturing branch plant of the Ford Motor Company, instead, it existed as an entirely autonomous group with distinct shareholders, in fact, the Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford only owned 13% of the new company. Operating in this manner, the Ford Motor Company of Canada gained all Ford patent rights and selling privileges to all parts of the British Empire with the exception of Great Britain and Ireland.
Because of this, the Ford Motor Company of Canada was able to establish additional subsidiaries in Southern Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
Back to Canada – in September 1904, the first Model C rolled off the manufacturing plant, with the ability to produce two cars at a time every day in the first year of operation. This led to a total of 117 automobiles, exporting models across the sea and around the world.
Following the end of the Second World War, Ford Motor Companies acquired majority control in the Ford Motor Company of Canada, and moved the office to Oakville, Ontario. A new manufacturing plant opened there in 1953, followed by an additional plant in Talbotville in 1967. By the ‘70s Ford was arguably the largest company in Canada, and has since celebrated a centennial only one year after its parent company.
Many things have changed since those days, but the location of the Ford Motor Company of Canada remains in Ontario with plants still in operation in Oakville and Windsor. Discover the amazing opportunities that the Ford brand has in store for you with the team at Kitchener Ford – where you’ll find the dealership experience you deserve!