Ford Motor Company commonly known as Ford is an American automotive corporation.
It the world’s fifth largest based on worldwide vehicle sales.
The largest family-controlled company in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 110 years. Ford now encompasses two brands: Ford and Lincoln. Ford once owned 5 other luxury brands: Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Mercury. Over time, those brands were sold to other companies and Mercury was discontinued.
Based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, the company was founded by Henry Ford on June 16, 1903. It was founded by Henry Ford and 11 associate investors.
Ford Motor Company would go on to become one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world, as well as being one of the few to survive the Great Depression.
Between 1903 and 1908, Ford produced the Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, and S. Hundreds or a few thousand of most of these were sold per year. In 1908, Ford introduced the mass-produced Model T, which totaled millions sold over nearly 20 years.
The company’s first international sales branch opened in Paris in 1908. By mid-1914 there were more than 500,000 Model Ts on the roads of the world, by 1923 the company was producing more than half of America’s + automobiles, and by the end of the 1920s Ford had more than 20 overseas assembly plants in Europe, Latin America, Canada, Asia, South Africa, and Australia. The Ford had become the world’s most familiar make of car, with 15 million Model Ts having been produced.
In 1941, Ford begins to produce general-purpose “jeeps” for the U.S. military and shifts completely to military production starting in Feb. 1942. Civilian production does not resume until July 1945.
During World War II, the United States Department of War picked Ford to mass-produce the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber at its Willow Run assembly plant. Ford Germany, Ford’s subsidiary in Germany, produced military vehicles and other equipment for Nazi Germany’s war effort. Some of Ford’s operations in Germany at the time were run using forced labor.
The 1949 Ford was the first all-new American car design to come out of Detroit after WWII. With its wind tunnel-tested aerodynamic shape, integrated pontoon fenders, airplane-inspired spinner grille and an updated V8, the new car was as radical a change as the 1928 Model A.
The 1950s and 1960s saw the introduction of some of Ford’s most iconic vehicles, including the Thunderbird in 1955 and the Mustang in 1964. This period also saw the introduction and unfortunate demise of the Edsel, a luxury car that never caught on with the public.
With the 1980s, Ford introduced several highly successful vehicles around the world. During the 1980s, Ford began using the advertising slogan, “Have you driven a Ford, lately?” to introduce new customers to their brand and make their vehicles appear more modern. In 1990 and 1994 respectively, Ford also acquired Jaguar Cars and Aston Martin. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Ford continued to sell large numbers of vehicles, in a booming American economy with a soaring stock market and low fuel prices.
Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to the Indian automaker Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.
In 2008 Ford alone, of the big three American automakers, avoided bankruptcy and a government bailout. Ford remains one of the largest car producers in the world.
The largest collection of Ford vehicles – The Den Hartogh Ford Museum in Hillegom, The Netherlands, has a collection of 206 fully restored Ford cars and trucks. The earliest veicle is a 1903 A-Ford Phaeton car, and the newest a 1948 V8 truck. Other interesting vehicles include several fire trucks, a snowmobile with tracks and sleds, an American mail truck, and an icecream vendor’s van.
The largest parade of Ford cars is 1,527 and was organised by Moto-Pfohe BG (Bulgaria), in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 4 June 2016.