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Ford Netherlands celebrates 100th anniversary

March 8, 2024

Ford history in the Netherlands

On March 6, 1924, the Ford Motor Company of Holland was founded with an initial capital of FL 100,000 and a team of 55 employees. The office where Ford Netherlands began in 1924 was initially located in a Rotterdam hotel. The brand-new branch of what was then the world’s largest automobile brand, its goal was to eventually assemble cars in the Netherlands, as was the practice in other countries. In 1928, just four years after the start of Ford Netherlands, Ford immediately ranked first in the first official census of the Dutch vehicle fleet, with a whopping 12,336 cars. An impressive performance, with Chevrolet and Citroën taking second and third place, respectively.

Dutch Americans

The dream of assembling cars in the Netherlands was realized in 1932 with the opening of the Ford Factory on the North Sea Canal. The site had been offered by the City of Amsterdam after Henry Ford decided that all Ford factories should be located directly on the waterfront for the sake of efficient transportation. Until the beginning of World War II, many cars rolled off the assembly line every day, including the Ford Model A, popularly known as the A-Ford.

Ford Netherlands: 100 years

Anglia, Cortina, Corsair and Taunus

After a challenging restart after the war caused by material shortages, Ford Netherlands experienced tremendous growth in the 1950s, building and selling such models as the Anglia, Cortina, Corsair and Taunus in large volumes. In the late 1960s, even the legendary Ford Mustang was assembled in Amsterdam. Many of these models were part of the Dutch street scene in large numbers. Back then, the car buyer was already getting significant value for money when purchasing a Ford. That explains why many generations in the Netherlands grew up in the back seat of a Ford.

Assembly of vans and trucks

Starting in the early 1970s, the focus of the Ford plant shifted to the assembly of vans and trucks, such as the Transit and the Transcontinental. In doing so, the plant also became the birthplace of the success story now called Ford Pro , offering a wide range of commercial vehicles and services that enable entrepreneurial Holland to focus on successful business operations. Dutch production ceased in 1983, but Ford Netherlands remained active as a “National Sales Company” with an extensive network of dealers and service partners throughout the country.

Ford Netherlands: 100 years

Escort, Sierra, Mondeo and Transit

Today, Ford is still a fixture in the Netherlands. For a hundred years, about 1.5 million Fords have been sold, implying that virtually in every family, someone owns a Ford or has owned one at one time or another. Iconic models such as the Escort, Sierra, Mondeo and Transit have almost become concepts in themselves. This also applies, for example, to the Focus and the Fiesta, which can be found on every street corner and, according to the RDW, are even among the most common models in the Netherlands.

Ford Netherlands: 100 years

Ford Netherlands: 100 years