Ford Retail Celebrates a Century of Excellence: From 1923 to 2023

Added: 20 October 2023

In a remarkable journey spanning a century, Ford Retail has stood the test of time, evolving as a registered company, firstly as Polar Ford, in 1923 to our current status and trading name of TrustFord today.

Over the century Ford Retail has been the umbrella to many historic dealer group names that many Ford fans will remember fondly.

Ford Retail’s historical connection start in the Channel Islands

The oldest known dealership, which came into the Ford Retail family a few years later, was first established in 1911.  Brothers Alf and Eddie Bougourd owners of Belgrave Cycle & Motor Engineering Works reputedly branched out into the supply of Fords. Initially they started by importing a kit of Ford Model T parts to see if there would be an interest in the motor car on the island of Guernsey.  Alf Bougourd even spent time in Detroit to learn more about the car industry.  Today TrustFord still operates and serves its community on the island of Guernsey.

Connections to the Channel Islands are also rooted in Jersey where La Motte Ford was founded back in 1930. Similarly, TrustFord still operates in Jersey today, from the Victoria Avenue site, a wonderful location overlooking the ocean.

100 Years of Ford Retail

Where Ford Retail’s registered status starts, and 100 year official recognition is rooted, is in its origins as Polar Ford in 1923.  Opened originally in the north, it’s of note that Polar Ford’s first established year coincides with Ford Motor company launching  the ‘Ford Weekly Purchasing Plan’ that same year.  This enabled customers to make payments to a bank until they accumulated the price of a new Model T.

As the automotive industry evolved, so did Polar Ford. The company faced numerous challenges, including economic downturns, technological advancements, and changing consumer preferences. However, it proved its resilience by not only weathering these storms but also thriving through them.

In subsequent years, further operations were acquired including Lindsay Ford in Northern Ireland, Dagenham Motors in the South, Manchester Atlantic in the North West and Brunel and Heartlands Ford in the West Country and the Midlands. 

In 2004 Ford Motor Company took full ownership of Polar Ford and in 2007 the dealer network was consolidated with the Parts business, at that time known as @FirstParts.

In 2014, the business decided to bring together all the brands under one trading name and so, after extensive customer and colleague research, TrustFord was launched at its annual conference.

The new brand name reflected our commitment to building trust and lasting relationships with our customers. This transition marked a pivotal moment in the company's history, aligning our mission with the evolving needs of the modern automotive market.

Today with over 60 locations spread across the United Kingdom and a thriving Parts business (now known as Parts Plus), a national Mobile Service operation and industry leading fleet operation the business takes huge pride in its heritage but always with an eye always on the future.  From its inception, the company has recognised the importance of bringing the iconic Ford brand closer to customers. TrustFord has consistently upheld the values of quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction that are synonymous with the Ford name.

TrustFord’s success can be attributed to its continued emphasis on customer service, innovative solutions, and a dedicated workforce. TrustFord has consistently adapted to meet the ever-changing demands of the automotive industry, moving to digital shopping choices, embracing new technologies and introducing sustainable practices to reduce its environmental footprint. 

The business is passionate about its people and has a consistent focus on driving a diverse and happy team that reflects and serves the communities where it operates.

Looking Forward to the Next Century

At TrustFord we’re celebrating our centenary and look toward the future with optimism and excitement. The company remains committed to its core principles of quality, trust, and customer satisfaction. We continue to innovate in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving automotive landscape.

TrustFord's journey from its formative years to its respected standing today, as a UK-wide leader, reflects the spirit of adaptability and resilience that has defined its century-long history.   The company remains in those original stronghold regions but is now also operating in Scotland, and continues to invest across its estate as it moves to electrification and probably the most dramatic changes to product since those first Model T parts landed on Guernsey.

With a firm eye on the horizon, TrustFord is poised to continue its legacy of excellence, serving customers and the community for generations to come. Here's to another century of TrustFord driving the future!

See our timeline below!