FORDPLANT  

 
 

 


My grandfather, Andreas Chalkiopoulos, was a mechanic in Alexandria from about 1908 until his death in 1936

His home, as far as I know, was exclusively in Alexandria between about 1907 and 1936

He came from a school in Europe (France or Belgium?) possibly as a civil engineer to build bridges in Egypt

He was thought to be one of the first people to assemble a Ford motor car in Egypt (or at least in Alexandria?) 

He was later a personal mechanic and driver for a Pasha  in Alexandria

Can you provide me with more details about the introduction of the Ford motor car in Alexandria, Cairo or Egypt in general? 

Did these Ford motor cars come in kits to be assembled? 

What companies or organizations in Cairo and Alexandria assembled these Ford motor cars? 


 

Dear Andy,

This response is directed to the first part of your query regarding the history of the Ford Motors Company in Egypt. 

All of the Ford Motor cars, prior to WWII, were built by Ford Italiana SPA, which established an assembly plant in 1923 in Trieste (located at that time in Italy).  These particular cars were for export to the Middle East and the Balkans.   During this period there were no Ford Cars assembled in Egypt. 

However, there was a Ford Service Franchise located in Alexandria, which serviced and repaired the Ford automobiles which had been imported into Egypt. 

In his article, HISTORY OF MOTORING IN EGYPT (The Egyptian Gazette, March 2, 1997) ,  Samir Raafat wrote the following:
 


"Alfred and Edward Flower, would become the pioneers of modern motoring in Egypt. When they  first opened shop, they were concessionaires for the emerging automotive giant Ford. Later, they  would become the dealers of the top names in the business."

In 1958  Ford announced entry into the heavy and extra-heavy truck market.  It was at that time that an assembly plant for trucks was established in Alexandria.  The photo above was taken in 1959 in this plant in Alexandria.  Approximately 80% of the parts were manufactured abroad, and only 20% in Egypt.

Most automotive engineers who worked in Egypt had been trained at Ford Belgium which was founded in Antwerp, Belgium, and operated from 1922 until WWII.

This would lead me to believe that your grandfather must have been working in the Ford Service Franchise in Alexandria, not the assembly plant, which was established later, and only for trucks, not cars.

This information was passed on to me by Dr. M. El-Baroudy, a member of this list. 

Hope this is helpful in solving some of the mystery surrounding your grandfather's life in Egypt.
 

Karima