The news that the Ford plant at Almussafes, Valencia had reinstated the third daily shift of production and was producing a record number of cars in the summer of 2014 reminds us that, although it has an essentially an agricultural economy, Valencia has since 1973 been a major producer of automobiles.
It was then that the Ford Motor Company purchased 270 acres of orange orchards near Valencia, and a mere 1,000 days later, on 18 October 1976, the first Ford Fiesta rolled off the production line. A week after that, on 25 October 1976, King Juan Carlos I formally inaugurated the plant, which had cost 680 million dollars.
Direction of the plant’s construction was undertaken by a German director of operations, Hanns Brand, and true to the lifestyle of the Valencian people, the model chosen to be produced in Valencia was the Fiesta.
The first engine came off the line on April 26, 1976, a month ahead of schedule, and the first production cars left the assembly track on October 18, 1976, a month before the target date.
As well as the Fiesta, the plant has produced the Escort, Orion, Ka, Focus, Mazda2, C-Max, Kuga, Transit Connect and Mondeo.
In February 2014, Ford manufactured its 11 millionth car at Almussafes.
See also our article about Josep Tornero, Henry Ford Award winner: