Today is Ford Day, out at the Carl Casper Auto Show, at Louisville’s Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. Dignitaries, public officials, and plain old car lovers, are joining together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ford Motor Company’s presence here in Louisville.
Kentucky’s Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, and numerous state and Metro legislators were on hand today, as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer addressed local Ford plant managers and United Auto Workers leaders, presenting them with a proclamation renaming the city Ford Country USA for the day.
Senator Mitch McConnell congratulated Ford Motor Company on the 100th anniversary of manufacturing operations in Louisville, and said: “I congratulate the Ford Motor Company for its 100th anniversary of manufacturing in the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Ford’s Louisville operations have produced famous road-worthy icons from the Model T to the Ford Fairlane, Bronco, F-Series truck and the Ford Escape. Its 8,500 employees are some of the hardest-working men and women in the state, producing more than 650,000 vehicles annually. Louisville and Ford have proved to be great partners in automotive progress, and I look forward to the next 100 successful years of Ford Motor Company in Kentucky.”
It began in 1913, with 17 employees making on average 12 cars a day at a facility on South Third Street (corner of South Third and Eastern Parkway). One hundred years later, the Ford Motor Company has grown to employ 8,500 workers at two state of the art facilities in Metro Louisville.
Last night, three members of Louisville’s Metro Council introduced a resolution recognizing the partnership that Ford and the city have fostered as the company and its workers move forward in the 21st century.
“In 1913, Ford placed its confidence in Louisville and together, we have created a vision for our community that is strong enough to last 100 years,” says Councilman David James (D-6). “This resolution recognizes Ford’s investment in our city and it also applauds the many people who have helped Ford succeed.”
James and Council members Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13) and Glen Stuckel (R-17) are primary sponsors of the resolution which follows Ford’s progress and growth through the years noting each successful model made in the city. All other Council Member have signed on as added sponsors to the resolution.
From the Model T to the Ford Galaxie to the LTD to the Explorer and now the Escape, the cars carry “Made in Louisville” signs with pride.
The Louisville Assembly Plant on Fern Valley Road began operations in 1955 and in 2010 Ford retooled the plant to make it one of the most flexible auto assembly operations in the world. The Kentucky Truck Plant is also a part of the resolution honoring Ford. KTP was built in 1969 and is known worldwide for the “F-Series” truck.
“My personal story is that Ford/UAW862 provided my basic needs growing up since my dad, Jim Aubrey, was employed by both Ford and UAW for 46 of those 100 years,” said Councilwoman Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13). “I am very proud to be a primary sponsor in recognizing this historic occasion.”
In 1941, Local 862 of the United Auto Workers Union formed as the first in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In the years since, Local 862 members continue to work with Ford to build the best and most reliable autos in the world.
“Ford doesn’t just provide jobs to workers within its two Louisville manufacturing plants, Ford helps create countless other supplier jobs that help keep our city moving,” said Councilman Glen Stuckel (R-17). “Much of the development and growth in District 17 can be attributed to the existence and Ford, and hopefully that relationship will continue for generations to come.”