Content for She Wore a Yellow Dress comes from the author’s experience at Ford of Britain from August 1966 to the end of the story. However, it must be stressed that the novel is not intended to be an exposition on the company. The author thoroughly enjoyed his time at Ford, learned a great deal, and used that knowledge to launch his career, which eventually brought him to the United States. It was a turbulent time for Ford’s industrial relations and there was always hope that the company’s relationships with its workforce and trade unions would improve. The novel illustrates what actually happened.
Ford of Europe was created to take charge of all of Ford’s European businesses and have its subsidiaries work together rather that compete with one another. However, as company-wide stoppages affected Ford of Britain during 1968, 1969, 1971 and 1974, manufacturing and vehicle assembly began to shift overseas to where output was more reliable, product quality greater, and costs were competitive with Britain. The numbers below show how Ford of Britain’s assembly numbers declined during the years represented by this book.
A discussion on the impact of globalization of the motor car/automobile industry during the past 50 years might offer value to book club members.
Ford OF Britain Annual Car Production
|Ford Cortina||242, 300||261,700||182,200||140,350|
Note: For the five years after 1975, annual car production in Britain averaged 378, 200 units; for the three years before 1966, production averaged 511,750.
Ford Britain Car Model Line Up 1966-1975
The list of models below are those that were being assembled by Ford of Britain when the author joined the company, plus the Capri. They were the last generation of vehicles to be principally assembled in Britain.
ANGLIA Introduced September 1959 and succeeded in 1968 by the Ford Escort 1968-2003
CORSAIR Introduced October 1963 and succeeded in 1970 by the Mark 111 Cortina
CAPRI Introduced November 1968 as Ford’s performance and sporting representative; ended assembly 1986
CORTINA Mark I launched 1962 and the last Mark V built July 1982
ZEPHYR/ZODIAC Mark IV launched 1966; succeeded by the Consul/Granada during 1972