Between Denmark and Detroit: Ford Motor Company A/S and the Transformation of Fordism 1919-1966

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Abstract

In 1919 Ford Motor Company – the world’s largest car company – decided to make a small, Nordic country its bridgehead to continental Europe.
During the 1920’s, the iconic Ford Model T was assembled in Copenhagen in great numbers, and exported to most of North-Eastern Europe. The Danish Ford company successfully continued production through the recession of the 1930’s, the German occupation 1940-45 and the Cold War and economic boom of the 1950’s. But in 1966 it finally had to give way to Fords larger operations elsewhere in Europe.
The technology employed in Copenhagen was the same as in Fords American assembly plants. The Copenhagen assembly plant was even designed by Albert Khan, the architect behind Fords famous Highland Park factory.
But the production of cars is about more than technology. Ford Motor Company soon found out, that they had to make concessions to local traditions, to changing market conditions, and most of all: To a labour movement much more powerful, than back home in Detroit.
Ford Motor Company brought not only Henry Ford’s pioneering principles of mass production to Europe, but also his vision of an affluent consumer society. But as Fordism was relocated across the Atlantic, it was at the same time changed by the social and political forces of the old continent.
This book combines a detailed history of the Danish Ford Motor Company with a vivid account of how Fordism was transformed in a European context.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAarhus
PublisherAarhus Universitetsforlag
Volume1
Edition1
Number of pages378
ISBN (Print)9788771848359
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Ford Motor Company
  • Fordism
  • Labour history
  • Industrial relations
  • Danish industrial heritage
  • Business history
  • Industrial history

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