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Old 11-12-2020, 11:19 AM   #1
johnbuckley
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Default Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

Would someone like to hazard what was the difference between an assembly plant and a manufacturing plant? In Wilkins and Hill American Business Abroad (1964) it gives 1925 as the start date for both assembly and manufacture in Australia. And England 1911 for assembly with 1912 for manufacture. How many components had to bought-in or facbricated locally to make a foreign assembly plant a manufacturing plant?
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

I think 'assembly' is putting together knock down vehicles before the manufacturing got up to speed. Could be wrong though.


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Old 11-12-2020, 12:14 PM   #3
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

Mike is right, however Australia's import laws made it much more economical if the bodies were locally made, thus Australian Fords looked a little different than U.S. bodied Fords, but were made on U.S.-made chassis.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

Ford of Canada supplied a lot of commonwealth countries and others with Ford knock downs since they were the first Ford concern outside the US. Ford in Dearborn also supplied knock downs for all sorts of foreign assembly plants for a long time. Both made right hand drive vehicle chassis. The Dagenham plant on the Thames was the first full manufacturing facility in the UK but Fordson tractors were also made in Ireland as early as 1919. The French Ford SAF car & truck plants and the German Koln facility were also manufacturing plants.

There is a list of all the Ford plants in the USA on the web and there have been a lot of them. A lot went away during the depression and many of those plants became manufacturing facilities of other goods for the war effort of WWII. Most of them were limited on manufacturing but some had more capability than others.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 11-12-2020 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

This is a bit about the Australian operations

https://www.drive.com.au/motor-featu...cturing-grj8s5

The important bit
"There were some silver linings though. French lived in Geelong and his neighbour was a supporter of the local football team, convincing him to forge a partnership between Ford and the now-AFL side that continues as the country's longest sporting partnership."

Nothing much left now except engineers and the football team.
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Old 11-12-2020, 08:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

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Thank you Updraft. I have always (since 1964) researched the U.S. Domestic Assembly Plants and is is refreshing to learn of the Canadian- Australian dates and facts...
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

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Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
.... The Dagenham plant on the Thames was the first full manufacturing facility in the UK but Fordson tractors were also made in Ireland as early as 1919........ The French Ford SAF car & truck plants and the German Koln facility were also manufacturing plants..
Well, that's open to intrepretation ... Trafford Park in Manchester started as an assembly plant but was categorised as manufacturing plant by Ford themselves as early as 1912.
Wilkins and Hill list Bordeaux, Asnieres and Poissy as assembly plants (start dates 1913, 1926 and 1939 respectively), and Strasbourg and Poissy as manufacturing plants ( start 1934 and 1939) respectively.
Koln I believe didn't get going until 1931 and I as recall had no foundry until 1934.
Which leads me back to original question how does one differentiate between an assmbly plant and manufacturing plant?
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

In Oz here the bodies were manufactured due to local content/protection laws, and to stop the ships filling up with bulky items after WW1. The chassis were assembled.

So 50/50? Or however you like to chop it.
Manufacturing usually involves making an engine block. There you go.
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

Yes, lots of import tariffs and restrictions around then as always.
Maybe it was classified as "manufacture" when value of locally sourced parts reached 50%. And Ford shifted figures around as much as any other multinational depending on tax regime.
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

The Rouge was the worlds largest industrial complex in the Model A days.Ford came close to vertical integration,the complete control of raw materials and manufacture of a unit with over 5000 pieces all in one place .Nothing in the world at the time compared to it and the approach to manufacturing as a whole by the world was changed by it. Today we still revere its product,yet the complex fails to exist as it was.This was Fords true achievement and a shining example of American exceptionalism.Not to denigrate our foreign fellow collectors,but truly nothing compared to the Rouge in its day.
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

Yep, Ford Dearborn on the Rouge was THE manufacturing point for all items that couldn't be produced elsewhere in the early Ford era. Subcontractors made a lot of complete bodies but they didn't assemble the cars. After the war, the remaining Ford plants evolved to manufacture more items in house where it was practicable. The foreign operations had to evolve into manufacturing facilities out of necessity.

Ford didn't really use just the term assembly plant in the model T era and the Rouge wasn't really developed yet. They were Branch Assembly Plants. Some were even sales agencies for a time but that all changed in the Model A era due to the depression.

The Ford Model Y was designed in Dearborn by Bob Gregorie but it's intent was for manufacture in the UK. The 1st Simca Vedette car was one of Bob Gregorie's designs that was rejected by Ford Dearborn so it was given to the French company.

I know that the OP knows what the difference is since research has been indicated so I don't understand the intent of the question.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

updraught, thanks for sending the link. I had to laugh when I read "Ford pioneered the production line, so it's little surprise each factory was a 'cookie cutter' design. That even meant Australian plants had roof beams designed to handle six-feet of snow so required in Detroit." I worked for LAPD for almost 10 years, they built a new vehicle maintenance facility at the Wilshire Division. It was nice except for he fact that you couldn't close the door with a car on the lift. So ... they built 3 more shops to the same spec, and had to modify each one to be workable! We Yanks don't seem to learn from history!
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

You are right on rotorwrench....
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:35 AM   #14
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Ford blended manufacturing and assembly at some US branches during model a production,some bigger assembly plants had stamping capability,smaller ones didn't. The size and capability of the assembly plant depended on the surrounding market.The oral histories go into US and foreign production,its a good look at the practices used.

https://cdm15889.contentdm.oclc.org/...on/p15889coll2
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Old 11-14-2020, 04:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

The new Ford Plant at Geelong in Victoria ,set up 1925, was a manufacturing & assembly plant. In that era, most govt.s had a floating scale of what was imported & local sourced items. Basically, in Model A era & up to 1935, Ford Aust. imported chassis, running gear plus fenders etc but body panels [ initially all] were built up as bodies from imported & from 1930 as locally pressed & imported panels. They could differ to the same models sold elsewhere in world. Later on in '30's, Ford sourced more local components but bodies could still be local/ imported [ 1934 Aust. Coupes had Canadian cowl, rear deck but Aust. made roof & doors ; this was local manufacture as far as Aust. govt. was concerned then]. The Model A Tudor ['28 '29 only] & Fabric Fordor '28 '29 was an imported body but allowed until Ford Aust. began manufacture of the '30 3W Fordor by mid 1930.
Ford New Zealand had an assembly plant from late 1936, before that Fords were imported 'built up' except for the late Model Ts which were sent knocked down from Canada.
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Old 11-14-2020, 09:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

A Manufacturing plant transforms raw material (e.g. castings, bar, plate steel, steel sheet) into parts.
The Assembly plant takes those parts and assembles them to make a finished product which can contain MANY manufactured parts from a Manufacturing plant or several plants.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: Assembly plant vs manufacture plant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Brierley View Post
updraught, thanks for sending the link. I had to laugh when I read "Ford pioneered the production line, so it's little surprise each factory was a 'cookie cutter' design. That even meant Australian plants had roof beams designed to handle six-feet of snow so required in Detroit." I worked for LAPD for almost 10 years, they built a new vehicle maintenance facility at the Wilshire Division. It was nice except for he fact that you couldn't close the door with a car on the lift. So ... they built 3 more shops to the same spec, and had to modify each one to be workable! We Yanks don't seem to learn from history!
Reported in more recent times:
"Industry sources said Aldi planned to build a 50,000 square metre distribution centre at the site, its second in NSW, and was now shopping for a builder.
.... The specifications for the new facility will be interesting. Some of the features in Aldi's enormous purpose-built distribution centre at Derrimut in Melbourne's west raised eyebrows - particularly the roof, which it built to withstand six metres of snow."

1930 Ford dealer here on the left
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