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40 millionth Ford rolls from production line

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40 millionth Ford rolls from production line
Henry Ford in Cologne in 1930. Photo: DPA
16:11 CET+01:00
The 40 millionth Ford “Made in Germany” rolled from the US carmaker's plant in Cologne on Friday – some 85 years after starting production in the country.

Ford said the special vehicle was a silver Fiesta, which was unveiled at celebrations attended by the firm's German boss head Bernhard Mattes and German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle.

“Forty million vehicles since 1925 is a milestone in the Ford success story,” said Mattes. “We've become one of the most important pillars of the global Ford corporation.”

Ford founded its German unit in Berlin in 1925, but moved production to Cologne in 1930. The first cars were half-assembled Tin Lizzies shipped from the United States. These days, autoworkers can put together a Fiesta in just 15 hours.

“I can think of no other company that came from outside of Germany and remained successful for the following 85 years,” said car industry analyst Prof. Stefan Bratzel from the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach.

The facility in the Rhineland is the company's most important outside of the United States.

Together with a plants in Saarlouis and Lommel, Belgium, Ford employs some 29,000 people in Europe making around one million cars annually.

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