Nearly five million Model A Fords were built in just four years, from 1928 to 1931. 

Ford Assembly Plant, Des Moines, Iowa

Starting in 1912, Ford Motor Company opened domestic assembly plants throughout the United States. Assembling automobiles closer to regional markets reduced shipping costs — parts were cheaper to ship than completed automobiles.

Efforts were started in 1916 to locate a Ford assembly plant in Des Moines.  The facility was completed at Nineteenth St and Grand Ave in 1920.  The building is six stories in height with 233 feet frontage on Grand Ave and cost $420,000.  Cars assembled in Des Moines were shipped throughout the western states and as far east as Cleveland, Ohio. 

In 1924 as many as 200 cars a day were assembled.  By 1926, peak employment reached 1000 people. Ford’s Des Moines, Iowa, branch assembled vehicles from 1920 to 1932. In the early 1920s, the branch also built car bodies which were shipped to other regional factories for vehicle assembly.

In 1933 during the great depression, Ford discontinued operations.  The building was then used as a parts distribution center and then was sold to Solar Aircraft Co. during WW II.  Later the Des Moines school district bought the building and located Tech High School there.  Today the building is known as Central Campus.  On October 18, 1998 the Central Iowa Model A Club conducted a dedication ceremony of the old Ford Motor Company building with Governor Branstad and Superintendent Witherspoon in attendance. 


This is a picture of the Plaque placed on the building during the dedication: