The Blue Oval brand has been present in Brazil since 1904, Ford Motor Company’s second year in business. The Brazilian market became increasingly important to Ford over the years and in 1919 Dearborn founded a separate branch for the Portuguese-speaking country in South America: Ford do Brasil. An Albert Khan-designed assembly plant in São Paulo started producing Model Ts from knock-down kits in 1921.
Now, according to the Detroit Free Press, Ford will cease manufacturing in Brazil this year and instead rely on importing Fords from neighboring markets.
Perhaps Ford’s most notorious venture in Brazil was the Fordlandia project, begun in 1926. Henry Ford created Fordlandia as a part of his ongoing attempt to vertically integrate his operations. In the mind of the company’s founder, he could best control his costs by owning all of his suppliers (a philosophy shared by GM founder Billy Durant) and perhaps their suppliers, too. At its height, Ford Motor Company owned not only the mighty Rouge plant, but to feed it, hardwood forests, iron mines, a fleet of Great Lakes freighters, and a rubber plantation in Brazil.