On Dec. 13, 1997, country western singer Alan Jackson joined workers and executives to mark the golden anniversary of Ford Motor Company’s Atlanta Assembly Plant.
Ford’s first modern post-war plant, Atlanta Assembly opened in 1947 in suburban Hapeville, close by the region’s now-sprawling Fulton County Airport. Since then it has built F-Series trucks, Falcon and Fairlane cars and, since 1986, the best-selling Ford Taurus, along with its Mercury Sable sibling, plus SHO (Super High Output) and right-hand-drive export versions of the Taurus.
When dedicated 55 years ago by Henry Ford II, the plant marked the start of a new era of growth and modernization at Ford. And to help mark its golden anniversary, Atlanta Assembly received the 1997 Platinum Award for initial quality from J.D. Power and Associates because its products had the fewest reported problems of all facilities worldwide serving U.S. customers.
Singer Jackson, star of Ford’s “Crazy ‘bout a Ford Truck” commercials and Country Music’s “Male Vocalist of the Year,” had a personal reason for joining the party: He grew up in nearby Newnan, Ga., and his father, Eugene Jackson, worked for Ford for 25 years before retiring in 1989 from the Atlanta Assembly Plant.
Assembly lines are rarely shut down, but the folks at Atlanta did it again last Oct. 23 to celebrate another milestone—production of its 6 millionth Taurus since 1985.