OAKVILLE - Over the last 100-plus years, assembly and engine facilities in Canada built some of the most popular Ford products in history. Ford of Canada’s first product was the 1905 Model C, a 78-inch wheelbase car powered by a 10 hp, horizontally opposed two-cylinder motor. Two bodystyles were offered – a twopassenger runabout that sold for $1,000 and a four-passenger, side-entrance tonneau, which carried a $1,100 price tag. While vehicles and engine technology has changed over the years, one thing has remained constant: the committed people who are focused on building quality products for consumers around the globe.
That dedication is evident in the success seen both within the company and outside its walls. From within, the workforce is made up of many multigenerational employees, whose parents and even grandparents are retired members of the Ford family. Another example is the commitment to the Ford Production System (FPS) demonstrated by the Windsor Site, which is regarded as an early leader of the system. From outside the company, sales – particularly those from customers who may not have previously considered Ford – are a sign that the hard work being done at Ford is making an impact.
“Ford of Canada’s 2011 results were strong, and it’s rewarding for all of us to see the company on a path to success,” said Stacey Allerton, vice president, Human Resources, Ford of Canada. “We’ve made some tough decisions to get us where we are, and we need to continue that focus to position Canada for future success. Our competitors, both in Canada and across the globe, are improving quickly.”
A strong manufacturing base means more than just working to secure manufacturing sustainability; it means support for the greater Canadian economy. For every job in the automotive industry, approximately 10 spinoff jobs are created. Plus, Ford purchases more than $3.6 billion in goods from Canadian suppliers each year.
But the importance of manufacturing doesn’t just exist within Canadian borders. When thinking about manufacturing, Ford of Canada must think globally, as consideration for future growth and investment depends upon being globally competitive.
And, for the first time in many years, the competitive picture is very clear: the Canadian and U.S. dollar are close to parity, all manufacturers have recovered and are back in the game, and auto sales in Canada are growing. In such a clear landscape, competitiveness becomes the key component for success.
“As a whole we strive toward a common goal: to work together to find innovative, unique-to-Canada solutions to be competitive while giving employees the opportunity to earn a good living,” said Allerton. Working together, the company can strengthen the future of manufacturing in Canada and continue to make history.