History of Ford in Argentina

At the end of 1913 Ford Motor Co. decides to set up in Buenos Aires, the first Latin-Americans branch and the second one in the world after England. In 1917 and after having sold more than 3,500 vehicles, the importation of dismantled cars to be assembled in Buenos Aires is started. During this year, an investment of 240,000 dollars for the construction of an assembly plant, located in La Boca, is approved from the main office. In 1925, with the production of the famous “T” model, the first Latin-American Ford plant is opened. It was imported semi assembled and it was completed with the 20% of pieces of local production.
At that time the products were marketed through a net composed of 285 dealers. The administrative staff and the cadre of paid workers came to 400. Later, and due to the rising demand the plant must be enlarged, coming its staff to 1,500 people.
In 1927, the Ford “T” number 100,000 is produced in La Boca. The “T” model is discontinued in the United States, after producing more than 15,000,000 units. Its successor, the “A” model, is launched to the Argentinean market at the end of the year.

The war years

In 1939, with the Second World War outbreak, the importation of vehicles and components is closed. The production was restricted to finishing the units with the available material, but the increasing lack of basic materials for the production forced to stop the activity. During this time, Ford manufactured batteries and it attended its clients with the sale of spare parts and car accessories made in local repair shops. Later, this would give rise to the beginning of the Argentinean auto part industry.

The first Argentinean Fords

When war was over, the activity is restarted. In 1957 the first commercial vehicles of the “F” line are manufactured. At the end of 1959 F-100 pick ups, F-600 trucks and chassis for B-600 buses are manufactured.
In 1960, the building of the plant located in General Pacheco starts, and the next year it is officially opened. The Falcon begins to be locally produced in 1962. The offer is increased in 1969 with the launching of the Fairlane line, destined to the segment of luxurious and great appearance vehicles.
The 1973 oil world crisis and its consequences in the cost of the fuel increased the local market trends towards the cars of less consumption. The Ford answer was the launching of the Taunus, the first compact Argentinean Ford car with European design, in July 1974.
In 1982, the assembled and painting plant of trucks is opened, and during the next year a Ford Taunus is turned into the nº 1,000,000 produced in General Pacheco. In 1984, Taunus is replaced by the Sierra line.

Fabrica de Ford Argentina
First Ford facility in la Boca. Ford nš 2.000.000 produced in Gral. Pacheco.

Autolatina, the merger with Volkswagen

In 1987 Ford Motor Argentina and Volkswagen Argentina are merged setting up Autolatina. Both companies industrial activity is concentrated in Pacheco. The Ford Escort is launched to the market.
Since 1975 to 1995 Ford has consecutively led the Argentinean market, achieving its highest share in 1982 with the 38%.
In 1994 the cars offer is completed with the Orion launching to the market. This year, the manufacturing clever articulated system is opened in the bodywork painting plant.
In 1995, the joint venture Autolatina is dissolved, the assembling and painting plant of trucks and the Transax subsidiary are transferred to Volkswagen.

The recent years

In 1996, the new Ford Escort is introduced to the market in order to supply Mercosur. In December, the pick up Ranger production is started. In November, 1997, the supply is increased with the simple cabin units, with diesel and petrol engines, 4x2 and 4x4 wheel drive and different levels of equipment. They are only produced in two places in the world, in Ford industrial centre in General Pacheco and in the United States.
In 1999 the Ford Focus is launched, world Ford car with a great success in the European market, destined to the local market and to the rest of Mercosur. The local production is completed with the imported models: Ka, Fiesta, Mondeo, Transit and F-100.
On October 13 was produced the unit nº 2.000.000. The car was donated to Fundaleu a beneficence society.

See Ford Argentina production