DETROIT (Jun. 1)
Ford Motor Company announced today it was negotiating to authorize truck and tractor assembly in Israel by one of Israel’s leading automotive dealers. The company said that if an agreement was reached, Palestine Automobile Corporation Ltd. would build United States and British Ford products in an assembly plant to be in operation in 12 months. The site for the plant has not been selected.
Ford has given a letter of intent to Dr. Saul Lipschitz, a director of Palestine Automobile Corporation, confirming the plans, subject to completion of financial arrangements. The assembly agreement will be limited initially to commercial vehicles and tractors. Palestine Automobile Corporation now imports a variety of completed American, English and German Ford vehicles for sale through outlets in 11 Israeli cities.
The agreement will follow the pattern established by Ford in several other developing nations where automotive markets have evolved from the import stage to permit local assembly of vehicles in relatively small volume. The parts are shipped from major United States, British and German Ford manufacturing centers for assembly in plants owned by Ford dealers and operating under Ford quality control standards.
Ford will be the first major United States manufacturer to authorize truck and tractor assembly in the Israeli market which has almost doubled in volume since 1960, About 25, 000 new vehicles are now being sold annually in Israel, with demand rising sharply.
Similar Ford dealer assembly operations are in effect in Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Thailand and the Philippines and other countries are expected to be added, according to Ford. The Israeli firm has been a Ford distributor for 30 years. One of Israel’s largest automotive dealers, the firm has headquarters in Tel Aviv.