In just a few months it will be exactly 100 years since Henry Ford established the Ford factory on the Marina in Cork city, and Ford Ireland plans to mark the centenary through a number of exciting initiatives in 2017.
The Ford Motor Company was set up in the state of Michigan in the US by Henry Ford in 1903. True to his roots, just 14 years later Henry opened the first purpose-built Ford factory to be located outside of North America at the Marina in Cork.
Commenting on the centenary, Ciarán McMahon, managing director of Ford Ireland, told the Advertiser: “Ford has a unique heritage in Ireland, not only through the company’s close family links with Cork but also through the Cork Ford factory and of course many decades of much-loved Ford cars and vans on Irish roads. And we are still to the forefront in the automotive sector in Ireland with the widest network of dealers, providing employment, directly and indirectly, to some 1,000 people across the country.
“The factory is sadly no more, but Ford remains one of the best-selling brands in both the car and van market in Ireland,” he added. “Several of our models including the Fiesta, Focus and Transit are segment leaders, while the all new Mustang is in a class of its own.
“Ford vehicles were and still are a ubiquitous sight on the streets and roads of Ireland all through the 20th century and right up to the present day. The brand’s constant popularity meant that almost every Irish person grew up with a Ford car in the family or had aunts, uncles and neighbours who drove a Ford.”
“The company is also looking to the future as we plan for the next century of business in Ireland,” said the Ford Ireland chief. “Ford is the company with the largest test fleet of autonomous driving vehicles in the world, and in 2017 we will start testing autonomous vehicles across Europe. The company is moving from traditional vehicle manufacture to being a smart mobility solutions provider as we tackle the global mobility challenges of the 21st century.”