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 DEARBORN, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company's (NYSE: F) Dearborn Assembly Plant employees today celebrated the facility's 75th anniversary and production of the last 1993-model Mustang.
 Four of the plant's highest-seniority hourly employees -- representing 180 years of service -- had the honor of being in the final '93 Mustang as it came
off the line. They are Frank Clay Jr. (46 years), Albert Waters and William A. Grays (45 years each) and Joseph R. Galea (44 years).
 "The employees of the Dearborn Assembly Plant have made significant contributions to an 'American Legend' -- the Ford Mustang," said Plant Manager Lou Callaway during a special ceremony. "They also epitomize the dedication to building a quality product that has kept this plant in business for 75 years.
 "Production of the final 1993 Mustang isn't an ending," he said. "It's a beginning, as we prepare to build the all-new, eagerly awaited 1994 Mustang."
 Production of the new Mustang begins Oct. 4 and the car goes on sale Dec. 9.
 The four high-seniority hourly employees, Callaway, and Al Wilson, UAW Local 600 unit chairman for Dearborn Assembly, took part in an anniversary cake-cutting ceremony surrounded by many of the 150 employees who have worked at the plant since Mustang was launched in 1964.
 The Dearborn Assembly Plant has produced 5,100,614 units since Henry Ford opened the plant in 1918 as just one facility in a complex of buildings known worldwide as "The Rouge."
 Dearborn Assembly -- the oldest plant at Ford Motor Company -- was called B Building in 1918, receiving its current name in 1948.
 Located on the banks of the Rouge River, the Rouge was envisioned by Mr. Ford as a self-contained manufacturing complex where most parts needed for an automobile could be made and assembled into a product ready for the road.
 Today, the Rouge complex also includes a steel mill, ore-boat docks, iron- and steel-making furnaces, rolling mills, glass plant, stamping plant, engine and fuel tank plant, frame plant, tool and die plant and an electricity generating plant.
 The first products off the assembly line at B Building -- B in the plant's name stood for boat -- were 200-foot, steel-hulled Eagle Patrol boats for use by the U.S. Navy in World War I -- not the automobiles on which Ford built its reputation.
 The order for the boats -- used to track submarines -- came before any plant was built at the Rouge. In a monumental undertaking, B Building was ready in 80 days. At 600,000 square feet, it was a far cry from today's 2,070,834 square feet.
 At the end of World War I, a tractor assembly line was installed and production of Fordson tractors began in 1923. Concurrently, wooden parts for the Model T were manufactured in B Building and shipped to the Highland Park (Mich.) Plant where the cars were assembled.
 The Model A -- which replaced the historic Model T -- began production in 1927 in B Building and ended its run there in 1932. By 1939, a third assembly line was added to build the new Mercury car line, and buses also were manufactured there.
 World War II required the conversion of the plant's assembly lines to manufacture tanks, trucks, staff cars and jeep amphibious vehicles.
 B Building was re-converted to civilian production in 1945 after the war.
 Four assembly lines were in operation -- one for Ford cars, a second for Mercury, a third for trucks and the fourth for tractors.
 The plant was home to Ford and Mercury station wagons in 1952 and the Ford Thunderbird in 1955.
 Dearborn Assembly became the birthplace of the Mustang in 1964. Several other plants have produced the Mustang, but Dearborn Assembly has been the sole manufacturer of the legendary car since Ford's San Jose (Calif.) Assembly Plant ended Mustang production in 1981. A total of 6.1 million Mustangs have been made.
 The peak year for hourly employment was 1979 when Dearborn Assembly had 4,384 people. Today, there are approximately 2,000 hourly employees.
 -0- 8/26/93
 /CONTACT: Frank Sopata of Ford Motor Company, 313-322-1300/

CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SM -- DE018 -- 6220 08/26/93 14:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1993

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