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Ford SAF (Ford S.A. (corporation) Française) was the French subsidiary of the American Automaker Ford Motor Company, which existed under various names between 1916 and 1954, when Ford sold it to Simca.
The company was formed in 1916 as Automobiles Ford in Bordeaux by Percival Perry, 1st Baron Perry, the head of Ford of Britain.Like other European Ford subsidiaries, Automobiles Ford initially assembled the Ford Model T and this continued at Bordeaux until 1925 and then at Asnières near Paris until 1927. Model As were made from 1927 to 1931 and Model Ys from 1932 to 1934. The company also imported the US-built V8-powered Ford Model B, but import taxes made them very expensive and it was not very popular in France.
In 1934 Maurice Dollfuss, the head of Automobiles Ford, was looking for a larger manufacturing plant and reached agreement with Emile Mathis to enter into a joint venture with the Mathis company forming Matford in Strasbourg. The company name was changed from Automobiles Ford to SA Française Matford. This venture continued until 1940 when the Strasbourg plant closed and a new one opened in Poissy and the company became Ford Société Anonyme Française (SAF). During the World War II, the Poissy plant was taken over by the German Army occupying France and used to make trucks and military equipment.
After the war the company re-introduced the smaller 2.2 litre V-8 engined Matford model. This was replaced in 1948 by the all new Vedette joined in 1952 its upscale counterpart, the Vendôme, and Comète sports coupé, cars that were not shared with any other Ford subsidiary. In November 1954 Ford merged the entire French operation to Simca at first keeping 15.2 per cent of the company but selling this share as well in 1958. Apart from the plant, Simca also acquired plans for a new Vedette, with the 2351 cc V8, which was made until 1961 (with a substantial modernisation for 1958) as Simca Vedette (although still marketed in some markets as Ford for some time).
The Poissy factory had an interesting later history - after the incorporation of Ford SAF into Simca, it was also a subject of Simca's takeover by Chrysler in the 1960, and during the 1970s it manufactured the first (and, as it later turned out, only) French-made car to bear the Chrysler brand, the Chrysler 180. At the end of the decade, Chrysler in turn divested its European operations (including Poissy) to PSA Peugeot Citroën, which first rebranded the Poissy production to Talbot. Finally, in the second half of 1980s, the Talbot brand was axed and Poissy became one of the most important production sites for the Peugeot brand and continues to be today.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Georgano, N. (2000). Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile. London. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.
- ↑ "Matt's (Simca) Ford Vedette Page to 1954". http://hometown.aol.com/mdcotton2000/SimcaVedetteFordto1954.html. Retrieved on 2006-08-16.
- ↑ "History of SIMCA - company and cars". Rootes-Chrysler.co.uk – Rootes Group, Chrysler Europe, SIMCA, and Talbot cars. http://www.rootes-chrysler.co.uk/car-history/history-simca.html. Retrieved on 2006-08-18.