Today in Philippine History, May 3, 1968, Ford automotive assembly plant was inaugurated

Tuesday April 16, 2013 ()

Ford Motors Philippines   
Ford Motors logo around the time of the Plant inauguration.
On May 3, 1968, Ford automotive assembly plant was formally inaugurated 50 years after Ford came to the Philippines. President and Mrs. Marcos were the principal sponsors and Reverend Father Pacifico Ortiz, S. J., officiated the invocation and blessing ceremonies. Industry Undersecretary Cesar Virata stood proxy for the President who was in Bicol at the time.

The plant site comprised 182,000 square feet of assembly facilities situated on an 11-hectare land in the Muntinlupa industrial area, fifteen miles south of Manila. Products included the British Cortina, the German Taunus, and the US Galaxie, as well as American and British trucks. To this plant, Ford Motor Company had brought its most advanced equipment and technological skill (at the time) to meet the highest standards of vehicle quality required by Ford research and testing and equipped with the latest machinery developed for Ford's advanced automotive technology.

Today in Philippine History, May 3, 1968, Ford automotive assembly plant was inaugurated

In a message celebrating the plant inaguration, Henry Ford II, Chairman of the Board of Ford Motor Company, stated:

"More eloquent than any testimonial, Ford Motor Company's optimism for the Philippine economy is manifested in its multimillion peso investment in its latest subsidiary, Ford Philippines, Inc. The installation of the Ford insignia at our new assembly plant in Greater Manila is symbolic of our confidence in the continuing development of the country's economy. We are therefore grateful for this opportunity to contribute to Philippine progress and it is our earnest hope that Ford Philippines, Inc. will be received with the same good faith with which we have come to the Filipino people."

President Marcos message read by Virata:

"The opening of the automotive assembly plant of Ford Philippines, Inc. here is one more demonstration of the increasing capabilities of Filipino craftsmen and technicians, a manifestation that bids well to buoy our hopes for the eventual industrialization of our country. On the company's part, it is an expression of confidence in the economic stability of this country and in the future of the Republic. This investment adds substance and sinews to our resources, which we must continually replenish and invigorate in order that we may attain all our goals of development. My warmest congratulations to Ford Philippines, and I hope that its venture in this field will enjoy every success".

The inauguration was attended by hundreds of guests composed of Ford dealers, patrons, high Government officials, the diplomatic corps and members of various business and civic communities. The inaugural and blessing ceremonies were held at the plant site at Barrio Sucat, South Superhighway, Muntinlupa, Rizal (present day Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila). A cocktail-reception followed in the evening at the Manila Hilton Grand Ballroom.

Almost a hundred percent of the 450 employess were Filipinos. C. Allan Foran, President and General Manager, had expressed the policy to turn over to Filipino hands, in the coming years, more and more management responsibility of the highest level.

References: Ford Philippines Story, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, page 42 and 56, Volume XLIV, Number 7, July 1968


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