The Ford Motor Company began intercontinental production on this day in 1911 when the first English Ford Model T left a factory in Trafford Park, Manchester, England, the first Ford assembly plant outside of North America. Three years after production started here, Britain’s received its first moving assembly line at the plant. This allowed the factory to pump out more than 20 Ford Model T cars per hour.
An expansion of the plant after World War I significantly increased manufacturing capabilities. By the beginning of the 1920s, 41 percent of all registered cars in Britain were Fords. To further improve production numbers, Henry Ford demanded a a plant with better access to a deep water port. His dream came true with the completion of a new facility on the River Thames in Dagenham in 1923. Ford still operates a production facility in Dagenham, as well plants in Bridgend and Halewood.
Global Model T Production
Ford manufactured Model T’s around the world. At the height of production, they came out of factories in countries such as Germany, Argentina, France, Denmark, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and Canada. Of course, facilities across the United States also built Model Ts. Knock down kits sent from Detroit to metro centers across the country made it simple for the automaker to ship and sell large quantities by rail, without having to set up full production capabilities. In total, more than 15 million Ford Model Ts would be built between 1908 and 1927.
Ford would replace the Model T with the Model A and would continue building them around the world. However, the company soon began building models specific to each marketplace’s needs. When the Ford Model Y replaced the Model A in England in 1932, it marked the first time the automaker produced a vehicle specifically for markets outside the United States.