12th October 2021

Ford Dagenham celebrates ninety years of manufacturing

On the 1st October 1931, the first Ford Vehicle manufactured at Ford Dagenham, Fords newest global production facility at the time, rolled off the production line.

From 1931 to 2002, Ford Dagenham built some of Ford’s most iconic European vehicles, from the Model Y to the Anglia and from it’s earliest days engine manufacture has been an integral part of operations at the plant.

Just over 90 years later and with nearly 11 million cars, trucks and tractors built, Dagenham continues to play a major role in Fords European operations.

To celebrate nine decades of building Ford vehicles, the Dagenham plant was visited by Kieran Cahill, Chairman of Ford Motor Company and Vice President of Manufacturing, Ford of Europe. When speaking about the milestone, he said, “Today is about celebrating with our employees the enormous contribution they and their predecessors have made over many generations to the success of Ford Dagenham.”

“Still London’s largest manufacturing site, the fact that Ford Dagenham continues to be such an important part of our European manufacturing operations is testament to our employees’ involvement in the site’s past, present and future.”

Ford Dagenham was confirmed in March of this year as the source of the latest advanced diesel engines for the next generation Ford Transit Custom range which are being built by Ford Otosan – Fords Turkish joint venture – in Kocaeli from early 2023. The next generation 1-tonne Volkswagen commercial vehicles will also be built in Kocaeli as part of the Ford-Volkswagen alliance.

“The anticipated incremental engine volumes this creates is expected to help safeguard jobs at Ford Dagenham. By 2025, we anticipate that up to 60 percent of our entire diesel engine volume will be destined just for the 1-tonne commercial vehicles being built by Ford Otosan,” said Martin Everitt, plant manager, Ford Dagenham.

Ford Dagenham will also be supplying the diesel engine for a new light commercial vehicle to be manufactured at Ford’s Craiova plant in Romania from 2023.

But it’s not just diesel engines that Ford Dagenham manufactures. It’s also the home of Ford’s Transport Operations, which is responsible for the transport logistics of Ford components and vehicles across the UK, and to several other functions, including IT.

“Engines, Cars, Trucks, Tractors & Ventilators. What immediately comes to mind when I think of the 90 years anniversary, are the generations of families that have contributed to making this such a fantastic facility and helping us arrive at this milestone. All these people’s contributions over the years has been our true strength in Dagenham,” said Jason Brandon, Convenor, Dagenham Engine Plant.

“They have proven over and over again, both their versatility and their ability to rise to any challenge and when necessary diversify into other areas of manufacturing.  We can do anything in Dagenham and I’m sure, notwithstanding the ongoing challenges for the internal combustion engine in the near future, we can secure future Ford opportunities in manufacturing and alternative sectors and give more generations of Ford families the opportunity to work for this great company. “

Debbie Dempsey, Transport Operations Salaried Representative at Dagenham, continued, “It is awesome to look back at how Dagenham has diversified over the years, making varied world leading products.  All employees, past and present, should feel proud of what they have achieved.  Looking to the future we have all the right ingredients for success, the most important ingredient being our employees who are motivated and dedicated to taking Dagenham forward into the world of electrified vehicles.”

Announced in late June, the Ford Venari alliance plans to build an all-new lightweight ambulance. Based on the Ford Transit Chassis cab and developed under ‘Project Siren’, this new ambulance was designed with input from industry experts and front-line medical teams.

This new ambulance is intended to be manufactured at a new facility at Ford Dagenham from 2022, creating around 100 new jobs once production begins.

What do you think is the greatest Ford vehicle? Let us know in the comments.

Mk1 Cortina, bench seat column change. Maybe it was because I was a 20 year old and could cosy up to my girlfriend.

TC, 16/10/2021