Advertisement 1

Ford page header image


Ford Overview

Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903, setting up a small factory in Detroit. His early success saw the company grow at an extraordinary rate. Back then, he built the original Model A, however, in 1909 the Model T arrived. This is the car that put North America on wheels and established the first assemble line process in 1913.

Interestingly, the Canadian Model T was built in left- and right-hand drive models until the early-1920s. At the time, different provinces drove on different sides of the road. When British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island switched to the “right” side and joined the rest of the country, this oddity stopped!

In 1927, the Model A arrived and gained instant favour. It had a modern body, four-wheel brakes and a four-cylinder, 40 hp, engine. The 1932 Ford introduced the face-lifted Model A with a cast-in-one-piece V8 engine. At the time, it outperformed all other mainstream competitors.

From here on, Ford continued to refresh and update its car and truck portfolios to deliver a contemporary, balanced lineup. This outlook changed in 2018 when Ford shifted its focus to crossovers and trucks. As a result, the car side of the showroom disappeared almost overnight with the exception of the inimitable Mustang.

Ford Motor Company of Canada was founded in 1904 to make and sell Fords in Canada. The founder, Gordon McGregor, convinced a group of investors to put their money into Henry Ford’s new-fangled machine. Originally known as the Walkerville Wagon Works, it was located in what’s now part of Windsor, Ontario. Back then, the Model C was the first Canadian production car with a total of 117 cars being made in the first year.

Ford Motor Company of Canada also started building trucks during the Model T era, but with a twist. To handle Canada’s need to carry heavier loads, the Model AAC (the C for Canada) had dual rear wheels — it was a dually!

Following the end of the Second World War, Ford acquired majority control in the Ford Motor Company of Canada and moved the head office to Oakville, Ontario. Henry Ford owned 13 per cent of the company.

In 1953, the Oakville Assembly facility was opened and produced nearly all Fords sold in Canada until 1966. Rationalization and the advent of Auto Pact in 1965 changed things. Now, plants were given one or two models to produce, which supplied North America in a more efficient manner. For Oakville, it has included the likes of the Ford Escort and Mercury Lynx in 1981 and the Tempo/Topaz duo in 1984. From 1995 to 2007, it built the Windstar followed by the Freestar before shifting to the Edge and MKX. In 2009, the Flex was added. Today, it builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus.

In 1968, Ford opened another plant near St. Thomas, Ontario. It built a number of models with the most famous being the Lincoln Town Car. It was built alongside the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis until the plant closed in 2011.

Between 1965 and 2004, the Ontario Truck plant, which shared the Oakville location, built F-150s. In the process, it earned an enviable reputation for turning out a quality product. So much so, it was the only facility to build the second-generation F-150 Lightning SVT (1999-2004) and the limited-edition 2000 Harley Davidson F-150. Even Jacques Nasser, Ford's CEO and President from 1999 to 2001, sent word his corporate truck was to be built in Oakville.

Production at Oakville Assembly is to end late this year or early next. Ford will invest a reported $1.8 billion, with $590-million in donations coming from the federal and provincial governments, to retool the assembly plant in 2024. Towards the end of that year, it will begin to build all-electric versions of the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator — or that’s the stated plan.

Ford Cars

The Mustang has been an icon through six generations. From humble beginnings it has grown into whatever the driver wants it to be — a drop-top boulevardier to the Mach 1 Premium, a track-ready racer, the lineup covers the bases. This divergent ability along with just enough of a nod to heritage while embracing modern technology makes it the muscle car of record.

Ford Crossovers and SUVs

With the demise of the less-than-memorable EcoSport, the Escape becomes the gateway to the Ford brand. The fourth-gen, introduced in 2020, enters 2023 with a minor facelift and a larger 13.2-inch infotainment touchscreen option. The Escape is offered with a 1.5L turbo-four driving the front or all four wheels, a hot 250 hp 2.0L turbo-four option with AWD and two hybrids. The PHEV, unlike the regular hybrid, is front-drive only. The 14.4-kWh battery delivers enough range it qualifies for the full $5,000 federal rebate.

If you want an edgy ride, take a walk down Bronco Street. These throwbacks to an earlier era are offered two distinctly different ways — the smaller Bronco Sport and the truck-based Bronco. To celebrate the history both models will be offered with a limited-edition Heritage Edition.

The Bronco Sport, which is based on the Escape platform, arrives with a choice of two turbo-four engines and all-wheel-drive with G.O.A.T (goes over any terrain) mode. If you are serious about that remote fishing hole, the Badlands edition brings an impressive array of off-road technologies and it looks the part, too.

The Bronco, which is based on the Ranger body-on-frame chassis, enjoyed life from 1966 until disappearing in 1996. It’s back and with a vengeance it never really lived up to before. Offered in two- and four-door models it has four-wheel-drive, a ton of ground clearance and the hardware needed to keep it plodding. The list includes Trail Turn Assist and G.O.A.T. For good measure, you can strip some of the body off for a topless experience. The plus here is it does this without beating the riders up when driving on-road. Of course, if you want to go all-in take the 418-hp Bronco Raptor!

Next up is the Edge. It has two “performance” models. The ST Line features a regular powertrain wrapped in a bold body kit; the full-on ST swaps out the mortal engine in favour of a turbo-V6 with 335 hp! The Edge has been around since 2015, so it’s one of the older entrants and is in need of replacement. Rumour has it electric could be in its future.

For 30-years, the Explorer has been catering to families. It started as two- and four-door body-on-frame “truck,” but has morphed into a three-row unibody that’s equal measures of space and flexibility. This year, the new Timberline adds a more rugged look, more ground clearance and skid plates. Explorer is offered with gas engines, including the 400 hp ST, and a hybrid model that’s a little different — unlike many it’s capable of towing a substantial 2,268-kg trailer.

Now, if enough is not quite enough there’s always the Expedition. It takes everything the Explorer brings and magnifies it. The list includes the Max model, which gets a 230-mm stretch to the already time-zone-long wheelbase, it seats up to eight riders, has a maximum cargo capacity of 3,439L and it can tow a 4,082-kg trailer when properly equipped. The only thing it won’t do is pass a gas station.

Ford Pickup trucks

If you want a something that looks like a truck, feels like a truck, but doesn’t drive like a truck, you’ll find it in the Escape-based Maverick. In a different move, it’s the front-drive hybrid powertrain that’s standard; the gas engine and AWD is optional. The Tremor package is new for 2023. It takes the gas-powered unit and adds an off-road suspension with more ground clearance, a part-time four-by-four system with locking differential and an appearance package.

The mid-sized Ranger pickup has filled a niche for the past 40 years. It has enough truck ability for most owners while being easier to drive about town — think parking! Offered in SuperCab and Crew Cab models it comes one way, and that’s with a 2.3L turbo-four, 10-speed automatic and AWD. It is, unlike the F-150, simple. The problem is this generation, introduced in 2019 after a brief hiatus, rides on a modified version of the previous chassis, so it’s long overdue a remake. That’s coming next year.

You know it’s been around for a long time when the fourteenth-generation is on the road, but that’s F-150. It has also been Canada’s best-selling vehicle for 56 consecutive years. This sort of success only comes with the ability to deliver what the customer wants. While many F-150s are driven as much for personal use as they are as a workhorse the ability to do what’s asked when it’s asked has to be there. That sums up the F-150. Today, it’s offered in regular and hybrid models along with the outrageous Tremor off-roader and Raptor on-road track demon.

A wise man once quipped you can buy a car from anybody; you need an expert to configure a truck. The permutations when everything from colour, cab style and box length to engine, rear axle ratio and wheel size is factored into the finished truck means there’s over four-million possible outcomes and that’s just for the base F-150 XL. There are seven other models, although finding things to add to the loaded Platinum might be a challenge!

Electric Vehicles

When the time came to go electric, Ford really only had one name choice and that was Mustang. Simply, there’s just too much equity in the iconic nameplate to let it fizzle out and die when the oil finally dried up. Adding it to the company’s first EV solved the dilemma and keeps the name alive. The Mustang Mach-E is offered with a 70-kWh battery with rear- and all-wheel-drive models delivering up to 397-km of range; the extended 91-kWh battery, again with with rear- and all-wheel-drive, has a range of up to 502-km. At the top end sits the GT Performance Edition. With 480-hp and a run to 100 km/h of 3.7 seconds, it more than lives up to the pony-car reputation.

Ford’s newest EV is the F-150 Lightning. It takes the pickup basics and replaces the oily parts with a choice of battery and electric motor outputs. The standard 98-kWh battery delivers a driving range of 386-km and gives the driver access to 426 hp. The 131-kWh extended-range battery ups the range to a maximum of 515-km (483-km in the Platinum) and a system output of 563 hp. The plus, and this is key to any working vehicle, is the right sort of towing capacity. In Lightning’s case it’s up to 4,536-kg when properly equipped.

Advertisement 2

More after the ad

All Ford Models

Advertisement 3

More after the ad