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Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Returns to Family's Ancestral Home Town to Mark Centenary of Ford in Ireland

  • William Clay Ford Jr, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, celebrates 100 years of Ford in Ireland by unveiling plaque in Ford family’s ancestral home town of Ballinascarthy
  • Great-grandson of Ford Motor Company founder, Henry Ford, to participate in civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cork City, attended by 300 current and former Ford employees
  • Ford factory founded in Cork, Ireland, was established in April 1917 – the first purpose-built Ford Motor Company factory outside of North America

CORK, Ireland, Apr. 20, 2017 – William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of the company’s founder, Henry Ford, today unveiled a plaque and bench in Ballinascarthy, Ireland, to commemorate 100 years of Ford in the country.

The unveiling took place in the centre of Ballinascarthy, a small village 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Cork city, Ireland, from where Henry Ford’s father, William Ford, and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1847. The family settled in Michigan, where Henry Ford was born in 1863.

“I am excited and honoured to be coming home to Cork to celebrate 100 years of Ford in Ireland,” said Bill Ford. “Ford has deep roots in Cork, not only through my family’s historical connection, but also through the impact that the Ford factory has had as an engine for prosperity for the area over many decades.”

During his visit Bill Ford will also participate in a civic reception at Cork City Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cork City, at which the contribution of employees of Henry Ford & Son Limited during the past 100 years will be recognised. The event will be attended by 300 current and former employees.

Henry Ford remained conscious of his family’s heritage throughout his lifetime, choosing his ancestral home city of Cork as the site for the first purpose-built Ford Motor Company factory outside of North America. The Ford factory in Cork was established in April 1917.

As Henry Ford said in his own words: “My ancestors came from Cork, and that city, with its wonderful harbour, had an abundance of fine industrial sites. There was, it is true, some sentiment in it (the decision to establish the factory in Cork).”

The company that Henry Ford legally established in 1917 was entitled Henry Ford & Son Ltd., and that continues to be the legal name of Ford in Ireland to this day – the only Ford entity in the world to include the full name of the company’s founder in its title.

The Fordson tractor was initially the main product of the Cork plant, which by 1929 had become the largest tractor factory in the world. The factory also produced passenger cars including the iconic Model T. The last Model T ever produced by Ford anywhere in the world rolled off the Cork factory production line in December 1928. 

The Model A, Model BF, Model Y, Prefect, Anglia, Escort, Cortina and Sierra models also were manufactured in Cork until the plant’s closure in 1984.

Ford today has the widest network of dealers of any automotive manufacturer in Ireland, with 52 dealerships providing direct and indirect employment to 1,000 people across the country. 

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Ford of Europe

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 52,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 68,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (16 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 8 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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