Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ford Celebrates Centenary

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ford Celebrates Centenary

Article excerpt

ALMOST 200 people gathered at a glittering dinner to celebrate a South Shields' firm's centenary - and raise money for charity.

The event was enjoyed by customers, suppliers, supporters and friends of Ford, which comprises Monkton-based Ford Component Manufacturing and Ford Aerospace in Tyne Dock and was founded by Robert Ford in 1910.

The dinner had a strong industrial theme and was held in a warehouse in Simonside East Industrial Estate. The chosen charity for the night was St Clare's Hospice in Jarrow, which benefited to the value of pounds 5,456, partly through auctioning four precision-made chess sets, produced by Ford apprentices.

A few days earlier, Ford's workforce and their families had enjoyed a Family Fun Day at Newcastle Racecourse.

While Ford is rightly proud of its heritage and achievement, its board acknowledges that it can not rest on its laurels and is drawing up detailed plans to begin its second century with some bold moves in its markets.

Ford Aerospace continues to invest heavily in state-of-the-art equipment, new computer systems and the skills of its people.

As a result, Ford Aerospace sales for the year to March 2011 are forecast to rise to a figure in excess of pounds 5m.

This is partly from an aggressive marketing campaign to increase market share during the recovery, which will feature a significant number of new aircraft programmes planned across the world in the next few years and partly as a result of Ford breaking into the Chinese market with its major product, laminated shim stock, which Ford markets under the trademark of Easipeel.

Ford's press working arm, Ford Component Manufacturing, has also benefited from significant investment, to increase both its capacity and capability, especially by spending in excess of pounds 200,000 on a CNC laser cutting machine.

Ford Components is also looking to increase market share both in the UK and abroad, as well as signing a long-term agreement with a local customer which could generate an increase in annual sales of almost pounds 4m as well as seeing Ford move into the process treatments field for the first time. …

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