Key Events and Milestones in Ford’s History
Henry Ford attempted to start a car company with his name in 1901, called the Henry Ford Company. That went on to become the Cadillac Motor Company before Ford gave up the rights to use his name.
A few years later, Ford converted a factory with $28,000 received from twelve investors, creating the Ford Motor Company. Ford introduces the Model T in 1908, which went on to become one of the most popular cars in the world. After total world production of 15,458,781, production ended in May 1927.
History is made in 1913 at the Highland Park plant in Michigan when they begin operating as the first moving automobile assembly line in the world. Ford offers workers $5 per day for eight-hour work days and 15,000 job seekers vie for 3,000 jobs at the Model T Plant in Highland Park the next year. The pay rate before that was $2.34 per day for nine hours.
The 1 millionth Ford car was produced in 1915 and powered by Model T engine, the first Ford truck was released in 1917. Ford Motor Company spends $8 million to purchase Lincoln Motor Company in 1922 and a decade later, they build and introduce the first Ford V8 en-block engine-equipped car.
Thanks to the war, Ford begins to produce general-purpose “jeeps” for the U.S. military and ends up only producing military vehicles starting in Feb. 1942. They wouldn’t resume civilian production until July 1945.
Continued Growth at Ford
Ford acquires 75 percent of Aston Martin Lagonda, Ltd. in 1987 and Ford’s worldwide earnings top $5.3 billion, making it the highest of any car company to date in 1988. Within the year, the company goes on to buy Jaguar cars for $2.5 billion.
The 90s saw Ford introduce the Explorer sport utility vehicle, which becomes the nation’s best-selling SUV model. They also start production of the Flexible-Fuel Vehicle (FFV) Taurus which can burn gasoline, ethanol, or mixtures of the two. They would also sell the first taxi cabs that run on natural gas to New York City before the end of the decade.
In 2005, they introduced a gas-electric hybrid SUV, the Mercury Mariner, which got the endorsement of the Sierra Club. Then in 2014, in just one day, Ford opened 88 dealerships in China. While in 2018, Ford announced that all passenger cars sold in North America would be discontinued over four years because of a decline in demand and loss of profitability.