Ford: Valencia’s Other Fiesta

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.

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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:

http://valencia-international.com/josep-tornero-henry-ford-prizewinner/

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