August 18, 2004
Ford of Canada celebrates 100th anniversary
Oakville, Ontario – William Clay Ford, Jr., Chairman and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and The Honourable Tony Valeri, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, joined hundreds of Ford of Canada employees on Tuesday at a celebration to mark the company’s 100 years in Canada.
“When my great-grandfather formed Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited
on August 17, 1904, it was Ford’s first expansion outside of the United
States,” Bill Ford said. “Our success in Canada, and the lessons we learned
here, helped us expand around the globe and put the world on wheels.”
A century ago, on August 17, 1904, Henry Ford and Canadian entrepreneur
Gordon McGregor signed an agreement launching Ford Motor Company of Canada,
Limited, at a wagon factory in what is now Windsor, Ontario. That first year,
the fledgling company built 114 cars and employed 17 people. Today, Ford of
Canada builds approximately half a million vehicles each year and employs more
than 15,000 people.
“We have a proud history,” said Alain Batty, President and CEO of Ford of
Canada. “Of all the international ventures Ford has undertaken over the years,
Canada was the first. This is an important milestone, not only for Ford Motor
Company, but also for Canada.”
Ford of Canada’s Centennial celebrations kicked off Sunday, August 15 in
Windsor, Ontario. The events included 15 Model Ts driven from Detroit across the
Ambassador Bridge to join a group of Canadian Model T and classic car enthusiasts for a parade to the site of the signing of the agreement that created Ford’s first international company.
Later, at Windsor’s Ford Test Track Park, there was a re-enactment of the
signing of articles of incorporation for Ford of Canada by descendants and
representatives of all four founders, a consignment of early Ford of Canada
corporate records to the University of Windsor’s Automotive Archives, and the
announcement of the donation of land for a new EMS emergency station near
Ford’s Essex Engine Plant.