ROTTERDAM - The arrival of the new Ford plant in Marconiplein jobs has become very uncertain. This afternoon the ceremonial foundation of the first stone fell through. Carmaker Henry Ford liked the location not big enough.

During his stay in the Netherlands was the inventor of the assembly line work particularly impressed with the Dutch industry of R. Yesterday afternoon he visited the Philips factories in Eindhoven and in the afternoon there was a brief visit to the Wilton was in Schiedam.

Henry Ford visits the site of Wilton Feyenoord in Schiedam. Beeld: Polygoonjournaal 1930-187, Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision. (These images do not sound)

He has seen our country with their own eyes, He has bigger plans for his Ford Motor Company in Belgium, zo wordt gezegd.

Henry Ford, Wikipedia, Public Domain

Ford in Rotterdam

The American car giant Ford's six years in Rotterdam. In 1924 Ford opened an office at the Spaansekade. From this location, the import was arranged Netherlands. A few months later, the company rented a warehouse in Van Helmond Street. When the landlord wanted to return the property, Ford was looking for his own place.

The municipality of Rotterdam, who like Ford wants to keep the city, American has offered several construction sites for a low price. There were at locations in South Rotterdam, but Ford did not like. Ultimately, the choice falls on a plot of 28.000 m² in Marconiplein.

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With open arms

Last night around seven thirty Ford arrived with his company, riding in a Lincoln (part of Ford), in Weimar hotel located on the Spaansekade. At the hotel attached American flags.

On behalf of the municipal mayor offered Drooglever Fortuyn a cruise in the port of Rotterdam. The mayor himself could not be there at present, because he had to go to Antwerp for work.

Ford today decided to shorten the tour drastically. He wanted to look at the shipyard Wilton, where he was shown around by the management of the family business. Then it was time to go to the construction site of the new Ford Factory.

The building is a few months ago and the skeleton of the new hall is already part of the Marconistraat, but the official foundation of the first stone was only today. Until Ford got the idea that there are much greater possibilities in Rotterdam.

Hoe ging het verder?

Rotterdam council is what confused, due to the action of Ford, but it offers many more options, you might think.

But talks between the US directors and the Rotterdam city council running particularly difficult. So Ford wants the venue, where now a hall which is almost ready, sell back to the community. There are agreements on paper, but not everyone (especially the council not) is pleased with the conditions.

Both sides are very laborious to an agreement on the new location, which is nearly three times as the place in Marconiplein. It looks pointedly at a spot on Heijplaat.

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But before there is an agreement, shows that Ford behind Rotterdam also negotiating with Amsterdam. In maart 1931 The contracts were signed there. The office and all employees move to Amsterdam. He would have better conditions forced there by the council.

The town council has announced that she still feels quite badly let down by the Americans. All suggestions from Ford that Rotterdam has not been agile enough, be rejected.

In 1933 The foundation stone for the Amsterdam Ford factory. Before Ford does not return to the Netherlands. He keeps it in a telegram.

There the story is that Ford abandoned its plans in Rotterdam, because there was no water nearby. But very little of that story is true.


“Henry Ford in Rotterdam.”. “Forward : social democratic newspaper”. Rotterdam, 03-10-1930

“Visit the shipyard Wilton Feyenoord Schiedam.”. “Rotterdamsch newspaper”. Rotterdam, 04-10-1930

“ROTTERDAM AND FORD.”. “Algemeen Handelsblad”. Amsterdam, 12-03-1931

RTV Rijnmond - Rotterdam forfeits Ford Factory in Amsterdam

Stichting Ons Rotterdam – Construction Ford plant in Rotterdam, Harm Kramer

Text: Dave Datema

published: 01 oktober 2017

story number: 21