The Ford Motor Company of Canada assembly plant was first established in NSW at Sandown. In 1935, they shifted their New South Wales operations to a new car manufacturing and assembly plant at 350-374 Parramatta Road, Homebush. The Homebush factory was designed by architects Stephenson, Meldrum and Turner.
The Ford Factory was formally opened on 31 March 1936 and reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that:
“The new Ford factory at Homebush will be opened to-day. Members of the company and dealers have arrived in Sydney from all parts of the State for the ceremony. The day’s programme includes a conference, a tour of the factory, and the screening in the factory picture theatre of the film, “The Ford Year.” Later each dealer will drive away In a car assembled at the factory. A dinner will be held at the Hotel Australia In the evening, when Mr. H. C. French, director and general manager, will be farewelled prior to his departure for England and Canada”.
The plant included a complex of purpose built factory buildings which were altered and added to over the years.
The first car produced at Homebush was the 1936 Ford V8. The Ford factory operated 24 hours a day and employed around 1200 workers on split shifts.
The Ford plant was a large local employer in Homebush and surrounding suburbs. Many homes in the adjacent Telepea Avenue were built by Ford for employees. These have since been sold and are privately owned.
In 1992, the council boundaries were altered and this site was transferred from Auburn Council to Strathfield Council.
The Ford Factory closed in August 1994 and more than 400 workers were made redundant. The last car made there was the Ford Laser.
From 1995-c.2000, the site was used as a Linfox distribution centre. The site was then redeveloped as the Campus Homebush Business Park in 2005. The façade of the former Ford Factory Building facing Parramatta Road was retained as part of the development and is heritage listed on the Strathfield Local Environmental Plan.
‘Ford in Australia: Every high, every low’, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/special-features/in-depth/ford-in-australia-every-high-every-low/news-story/c11876c090689d8e7bcdfb9b2f683b72
Author: Cathy Jones 2011, updated 2017