Dagenham Motors to drop famous moniker this summer

Ford strikers: Gwen Davis and Sheila Douglass

Ford strikers: Gwen Davis and Sheila Douglass - Credit: Archant

Dagenham Motors is to drop the town’s moniker from its name which it has used for decades.

The Dagenham Motors will be replaced

The Dagenham Motors will be replaced - Credit: Archant

The decision by motor giant Ford to bring its regional retailers under the name TrustFord comes a year after it closed its 90-year-old stamping and tooling plants in the borough.

Ford insists it is “still the same company” – but the news has been met with sadness by some, including 1968 sewing machinist strikers Sheila Douglass and Gwen Davis.

Both women were consulted on hit 2010 film Made In Dagenham about their struggle for a fair wage.

Sheila, 78, whose family worked at the Dagenham plant for generations, said: “We built thousands and thousands of cars in Dagenham for Ford.


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“It would be nice if they considered us as something important given that we worked for them and helped them build a well-known company in the borough and beyond.”

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She added the loss of the Dagenham Motors name was “history going wasting”, claiming: “Dagenham without Ford is nothing.”

Gwen, 81, said the company was distancing itself from the town.

“I think it’s a shame because they really don’t want to be associated with Dagenham anymore – that’s how I feel,” she said. “They are taking Ford away from Dagenham. People are going to forget it was made in here in the end.”

However, both women said the company had always been a generous employer.

Post readers expressed their dismay at the announcement, too, with Rosie Gipson writing on our Facebook page: “It should be Dagenham Motors! Changing the name is ridiculous and is like spitting on its history.”

Wendy Wood said: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” And Cheryl Williams added: “I agree – I think changing is a bad idea.”

A Ford spokesman said customers from Dagenham Motors had been consulted over the name change planned this summer, which was made “to reflect our core values”. The Ripple Road site will be named “TrustFord Dagenham” – even though it is technically in Barking – as a nod to Dagenham Motors’ national brand.

The new name will give customers “a better understanding of the scale of TrustFord’s services” – such as fleet, bodyshop, parts and aftersales – as well as making it easier to recognise a dealership, she said.

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