OAKVILLE - Did you know that in 1903 the sixth vehicle produced by Ford Motor Company was exported to Canada? Did you also know that Ford of Canada was Henry Ford’s first expansion outside of the United States? On August 17, 1904, Henry Ford and Canadian entrepreneur Gordon McGregor signed an agreement launching Ford of Canada at a wagon factory in what is now Windsor, Ontario.
But history is more than just a collection of facts. It also is people’s experiences, hopes, dreams and memories. @Ford magazine asked a collection of long-serving Ford of Canada employees to share their favorite Ford memory.
“One of my many great memories over the past 39 years is when I first met Roy Bennett, at the time president, Ford of Canada. He knew who I was – which surprised me – and asked me about the morning sales reports. He then proceeded to teach me on how he read the reports and insisted that I call him Roy. That drove home the message that we are very much a family company and everyone is valued equally.” – Al McCormick, vice president, Customer Service, Ford of Canada
“Over my 40 years here at Oakville Assembly I have seen a lot of changes, all for the better. When I started in 1973 MP&L looked very different than it does today. Technology has changed so much and the layout and structure of our facility has advanced. I consider myself lucky to have worked with the great people at Ford. Over the past 5 years I have seen Ford take a huge step forward and seen the alignment between Ford leadership and the Union. I am so thankful for the opportunities Ford has given me and my family and I look forward to seeing Ford continue to grow as a company.” – Pat McCarney, manager, MP&L, Oakville Assembly
“Bill Ford attended the Ford of Canada 100th anniversary celebration at the Canadian Headquarters in Oakville, along with former Canadian CEOs from the past 20 years. The excitement, energy and experience of that day will always be remembered! In the words of William Ford, Jr., a good company delivers excellent products and services. A great company does all this and strives to make the world a better place.” – Janet McNabb, Marketing, Western Market Area, celebrating 26 years with Ford of Canada
“Over my years here at Ford I have many fond memories, including meeting my wife of 26 years! Back in the ’90s I also was chosen to be in a Ford commercial – it was such a privilege and Ken Harrigan, our president at that time, had lunch with the small group of us as a thank you.” – Ray Wigcherink, material replenishment coordinator (MRC), Essex Engine Plant, who has celebrated 40 years with Ford
“One of the coolest memories I have is of meeting Michael Schumacher when he was driving a Ford-powered Benetton. I have to say, being a car nut; I have enjoyed trying our new products over my last 30 years with the company – cars like the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Hydrogen Focus, Ford GT, Raptor, Mustang Boss and Shelby. My kids have spent so much time in Fords that blue blood will flow through their veins forever.” – Michel Maisonneuve, fleet service manager, Quebec Region, Ford of Canada.