In a recent conversation - about classics, Corona and discrimination - an old uncle Jaap came into the story. Great uncle Jaap apparently had been a car polisher at Ford Amsterdam for much of his life. So at the Amsterdam Ford factory. He apparently had a full-time job with the cellulose lacquer used at the time.
Fight between 010 and 020. Already then
And Ford in the Netherlands? With a factory in Amsterdam? Well, in 1974 there was already a jubilee year in the car info corner: “Fifty years of Ford in the Netherlands.” So now we are going towards centenary. The location for Ford in Amsterdam was actually second choice. Actually, Henry Ford, who had come especially to the Netherlands, wanted to Rotterdam. And Rotterdam wanted that too. Because there was founded in 1924 NV Dutch Ford Automobile Factory. 55 people soon worked there. In 1930 there would be a major expansion of the activities.
Also read: An A Ford is a real car
Ford received a festive reception, a harbor cruise and was proudly taken to the construction site. There he saw that the plot was not on the harbor, directly on the water. Before there were CEOs, boards of directors and supervisory directors, the life of an entrepreneur was easy. Ford decided on the spot: "No port, then no factory." He put on his hat and left the location. Where one was left in utter confusion. Near his hotel, Ford saw a then typical milkman making his round with his dog cart. The cart had highly polished copper milk barrels. Ford bought the cart - excluding a dog - for its museum in Dearborn. He must have said, “Well. At least now I have come to the Netherlands for a reason ”.
Also read: The Ford Anglia (1959-1967)
020 Grabs the points
Around 1930 the Amsterdammers brought in Ford with a plot on the water, Ford Amsterdam on the Hemweg. There was ample room for much expansion there. And the Dutch engineers and architects had devised an additional dock so that the mobile cranes could drive the parts straight from the ship's holds into the factory. On October 8, 1931, the first concrete pile was driven on the newly sprayed site. The factory was built at a rapid pace. The main buildings and installations were completed by the end of August 1932, and the new Ford plant was put into operation in September of that year. The official opening was on May 15, 1933. Henry and Edsel Ford were not present and it was sufficient to send a telegram. And, of course, the factory had Ford's assembly line system. Initially producing eighty cars a day, the 1934th Ford was assembled at Ford Amsterdam in 500; in 1947 the 50.000th; in 1960 the 250.000th and on May 13, 1974, when the Dutch Ford Company celebrated its half-centenary, the 457.838th Ford was driven off the line.
From that assembly line came B Fords, real American V8s such as the Lincolns, vans and trucks. Taunuses, Consuls, Zephyrs and Transits were made. In the 50th jubilee year, the Amsterdammers made about 20.000 Ford Cortina's plus trucks. Amsterdam later also became a distributor of approximately 45.000 Fords from the Belgian factory in Genk.
Also read: The Ford Taunus from Janneke
End of story
By the late 1980s, the Ford Amsterdam factory was operating at a loss, and by the late 1981s and early 1981, those losses had increased to such an extent that they had become unacceptable to the Ford Motor Company. In November XNUMX, nearly fifty years after its opening, Ford closed the factory. More than eleven hundred, for the most part, Spanish and Turkish workers were left on the street.
The photos come from a brochure published by the PR department of Ford Amsterdam in the early XNUMXs. Visitors to the factory were given the booklet home afterwards. So there must still be a lot of old drawers, cupboards and attics.