StreetInsider.com is reporting this morning that FMC Corporation is acquiring Cheminova A/S, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries A/S, for $1.8 billion. The only reason car nerds should car is that FMC used to build some wild trucks in its day.
A lot of people thought that FMC was some truck-building subsidiary of “Ford Motor Company,” but FMC is actually an acronym for “Food Machinery Corporation,” which it was tagged with after innovating the food canning business in the 1920s. It was originally founded as the “Bean Spray Pump Company,” and changed its name to Food Machinery Corporation, and FMC in 1928.
FMC hit its production stride during World War II. At its height during the war, FMC had the 65th greatest value of wartime contracts among American manufacturing companies, building the a beaded called “Landing Vehicle, Tracked” for the troops to storm beachheads around the world.
M113 Armored Personnel Carriers were an FMC staple during the Vietnam War, and it also built some of the earliest Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
It also got heavily invested in the manufacture of fire engines during that period. The “FMC” and “Ford Motor Company” connection gets even more confusing because some FMC trucks were actually just rebadged versions of Ford cabover designs.
As BangShift.com published, the company used its experience building fire trucks to branch into recreational vehicles, building some of the most expensive RVs on the planet at the time.
“The Class A FMC 2900R had a lot of the aerodynamic looks of the GMC line of motorhomes, but as opposed to the front-engine, front-drive setup of those iconic RVs, the 2900R was pushed along by a 440-cu.in. Chrysler V-8 mounted in the rear,” says the BangShift.com article. “It had a steel ladder frame with a four-wheel independent suspension setup, featuring an 11-leaf, transverse leaf spring up front, and a torsion bar setup managing the motion of the dual rear wheels.”
Most famously, Charles Kuralt drove an FMC RV in his “On the Road” segments on CBS Sunday Morning.
Today, FMC has divested itself from building trucks and is wholly in the chemical business. It’s headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and it employs 5,000 people around the world.