Abstract: Beyond Borders: Ford in Malaya, 1926-1957

Shakila Yacob

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the strategies of Ford in relation to the market of British Malaya. Ford started exporting to Malaya in 1909 and built an assembly plant in 1926, becoming the only automotive assembly plant in Malaya and the region. Initially, Ford used the distribution facilities of British merchant firms, but after 1926 established its own distribution company. I explore the reasons behind these shifts in Ford's modes of operation in this market and show how Ford transferred knowledge and personnel from its affiliates elsewhere to gain market share in the interwar years before a period of stagnation.

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