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The History of Ford

The Ford Motor Company is an American based company which currently rubs shoulders with the largest auto manufacturers in the world. Founder Henry Ford and his innovations in vehicle building made it possible for cars to become a common commodity for the masses.

The company has even survived through the Great Depression, remaining family controlled throughout its life. In its time the company has even owned and sold other large brands including Aston Martin, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercury (discontinued). Continue reading to learn the early origins of the company and key events that turned this company into the Amercan icon it is today.

Humble beginnings

1896 - At age 32 Henry Ford finally finished building his very first vehicle the “Quadricycle”. It was a basic self-powered vehicle constructed from a buggy frame with four bicycles wheels.

1898 – Henry creates the Detroit Automobile Company, his first venture. Unfortunately it fails and the company is dissolved.

1901 - Ford enters a high profile race event in Grosse Pointe using a vehicle he built himself. He wins, which gains him much needed investors and support. This allowed him to form a new company, the Henry Ford Company.

1902 - Ford decides to withdraw from the Henry Ford Company. It becomes reformed as the Cadillac Motor Company.

1903 – Henry founds the Ford Motor Company. He develops the Model A “Fordmobile” and 1,708 are produced. This is to be the first of Ford’s many highly successful launches.

1906 - Ford overtakes its competitors Cadillac, Olds and Buick combined. Producing 8,729 cars, the company quickly becomes the top US auto manufacture. Henry becomes the majority owner and company president.

Gathering momentum

1908 – The infamous Model T is introduced. This car was designed and built specifically for the masses. The car was to be stronger, lighter and faster than its predecessor.  The car was to become one of the most popular in the world during its time.

1909 – Ford Motor Company branches out becomes established in England (Ford of Britain).

1911 – A Ford factory is finally opened in Manchester, England. This is to be the first factory outside of North America.

1913 – Car production is revolutionised when the moving assembly line is introduced into factories. Production time of a Model T is now improved by an incredible eight times.

1914 – Ford introduces $5 a day pay for his workers. This is nearly double the current standard. Henry believed that this would make his workers happier and as a result more efficient in the workplace.

1921 – Ford’s production reaches five million.

1937 – Ford’s production reaches 25 million.

1943 – Son of Henry Ford, Edsel Ford, passes away. Henry Ford II comes back from the Navy to help manage the company.

1945 – Henry Ford II becomes president of the company.

1947 - At the age of 83, Henry Ford sadly passes away. However Ford’s spirit for innovation lives on in the company.

Post war production

1964 — The original and now iconic Mustang is released the “pony car” is born.  The Mustang becomes one of the greatest launches for Ford since the Model A. This inspired many car designers to create some great competitors, such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.

1965 – The Ford Transit van is introduced to Europe. Used primarily as a cargo van, this would become one of the best selling commercial vehicles in Europe for 40 years.

1976 - The Ford Fiesta is introduced in Europe. The compact front wheel drive car eventually turns into the third best selling ford model. It is also regarded as the first globally successful front wheel drive car.

1979 – Henry Ford II steps down as CEO and Phillip Caldwell take his place.

1993 – Ford expands into Asia, setting up dealerships in China for the first time.

1996 — Ford’s production climbs to 250 million.

Modern day

2003 – The 100th Anniversary of the Ford Motor Company. Ford sees fit to build a true race car for the roads. The legendary Ford GT is released, propelled by a mid mounted 5.4L V8 engine.

2005 – The company’s first Hybrid-Electric car is produced, the Escape. This actually makes Ford the 3rd car manufacturer to enter the hybrid market.  By utilising full hybrid technology the car can automatically switch its drive between full electric motor, combustion engine or combination of both. This allows for the most performance and efficiency depending on the driving situation.  

2006 – The number of Ford dealers located in China climbs to 150, 100 more than the previous year.

2013 – The Transit reaches its 4th generation release. By now around  7 million transits have been produced. The wild success of the model provides worldwide buyers [with what? Missing copy]. The word “transit” has even become a commonly used generic term for any light commercial vehicle.

2014 – Having gone through many radical transformations through the years, the sixth generation Mustang is released. Featuring a revised body - wider and lowered body than the previous incarnations. Available engine layouts include a 4 cylinder eco, V6 or V8. Engine power is transferred through a six speed manual or paddle shift gearbox.


published: 07/04/2014 17:00:00

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