Middle East Joins In The Party As Ford Motor Company Turns 100
One hundred years ago, on June 16, 1903, Henry Ford and 11 original investors signed incorporation papers to form Ford Motor Company. Today, Ford Motor Company leaps into its second century, making automotive history yet again.
"Ford Motor Company is a unique business success story," said Jim Benintende, managing director of Ford's Middle East regional office, during a special Centennial media event at Dubai’s landmark Burj Al Arab hotel. "Over the past 100 years, Ford has outpaced most companies in its growth and strong relationships with customers. The ingenuity and perseverance that got us this far will take us to our bicentennial and beyond.
"We are proud of our accomplishments and want to share our celebration with the millions of Ford owners who are as enthusiastic as we are about reaching this milestone," he added.
In the Middle East, the company has every reason to celebrate its 50-plus years of heritage with a 30 per cent plus sales growth in the GCC so far in the year, mainly driven by the recent introductions of world-class vehicles such as the all-new Ford Mondeo, the hatchback Focus and the new generations of the Explorer and Expedition.
Another recent introduction is the special long wheelbase Centennial Edition of the popular Ford Crown Victoria in Saudi Arabia, which was launched in May exclusively to the Kingdom due to popular demand of this powerful rear-wheel drive legend.
Benintende added: “2003 is already proving a landmark year for Ford in the Middle East. Record sales, new product launches, and an expanding dealership network across the region are the perfect platform for continued growth.”
“Ford can look back on 50 memorable years in the Middle East and look forward to many successful years to come. The 2003 Ford Crown Victoria long wheelbase Centennial Edition is already proving a hit with customers and will undoubtedly become a highly collectible version of a model that has sold more than 50,000 units in the Kingdom to date,” he added.
Back at home, Ford Motor Company’s official birthday features a star-studded concert at the Henry Ford II World Center headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, featuring music legends Earth, Wind and Fire, and Beyonce Knowles, better known as the face of Destiny’s Child. A national road show is also featured with history exhibitions, classic car displays, and ride and drives in copies of the original, and now world famous, Model T Ford.
Also, the equally famous Ford oval has been refreshed for this unique celebration. The subtly modernised design will become the company’s new corporate identity, replacing the Ford Motor Company script.
Ford’s Middle East history began in the late 1940s with the F1 pick-up truck and today the company is scaling new heights with award winning vehicles such as the Ford Focus, Mondeo, and the latest generation Ford Explorer and Expedition SUVs. The company enjoyed its best ever sales year in 2002 and it hopes to achieve yet another record for 2003.
Ford Middle East’s Jim Benintende continued: “Importantly, our regional dealer partners are also investing in the success of the brand. Several new dealership facilities have opened in Saudi Arabia recently, and a brand new dealership from Al Tayer Motors – the largest facility outside of North America, dedicated to the Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar and Land Rover brands – is set to open on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai in 2004.”
Ford Motor Company, which has its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, is the world's second largest automaker, with approximately 335,000 employees in 200 markets across six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Quality Care and Hertz.
Ford Motor Company’s history in the Middle East goes back more than 50 years. The company’s local dealers operate more than 40 facilities in the GCC and directly employ more than 3,500 people, the majority of whom are Arab Nationals. Ford Motor Company celebrates its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003.