Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant Regional and National Impact
Ford had led in bringing industry to Long Beach and importantly in opening up its harbor. Its economic impact on the greater region was not only on suppliers but on the 163 dealers it supplied. In 1948 two percent of its output went to Baja California where passenger cars sold as fast as they arrived in Mexicali, Tijuana, and Ensenada. The rest of Mexico got its cars from Mexico City. As for new products of significance produced here and of national impact, the observation must be negative. Ford Long Beach got its signals and its new products from Dearborn as noted elsewhere. It was but one in a network of Ford assembly plants; when one would be closed, another plant would take up its activities. Its significance was to southern California.
Ford's leaving also had its impact. The announcement was a jolt to the community. But Ford had helped notably in bringing the city to a new stage in development. It was an industrial center with a convention and tourist trade. The harbor and oil, however, were the real gold in Long Beach. Ford had stayed on and weathered the subsidence, and was a major asset in harbor recognition.
AERIAL VIEW OF THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY ASSEMBLY PLANT, PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION OF THE PRESSED STEEL BUILDING, NOTE THE CLIPPER SHIPS IN THE BACKGROUND, AND THE OIL WELLS IN THE UPPER LEFT CORNER