Brief History About Ford
Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 in the USA by Henry Ford. Previous to this, Henry had setup the Detroit Automotive Company in 1899 and the Henry Ford Company in 1901, but these 2 companies didn’t work out.
The new Ford company of 1903 this time had some big investors that helped the Ford company get off to a good start and even make profits in the first year. However there was friction between the investors and also the death of one of them, that left Henry with control of the Ford company in 1906.
In 1908, having built relatively low volume car numbers, a new Ford owned factory started to build the Ford Model T and with great demand, created one of the first mass produced car assembly lines, increasing the speed of building a car. Incidentally due to the speed of building the Model T, there was only one paint colour that could dry quick enough for the assembly line (Japan Black), which led to the famous saying from Henry “”Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.” It wasn’t until 1926, when paint improved that other colours were made available.
From 1911 Ford expanded into both Europe and other world areas and with their assembly line technique, literally blew away the competition with their sales volume.
In 1919 Henry Ford bought out the rest of all the shareholders to gain complete control of the Company and then gave control to his son Edsel Ford.
In 1922 Ford acquired the Lincoln Motor Company. During the 20/30’s there was a depression in the USA and most USA automakers struggle a bit, including Ford, but they did far better than most other automotive makers, starting Ford Australia in 1926 and creating the Mercury brand in 1939.
In 1943 Edsel Ford dies from stomach cancer and Henry has to take control again.
After WW2 Ford was struggling financially and with an aging Henry, control of Ford was handed to his grandson Henry Ford II. Henry Ford (I) then dies in 1947 of a brain haemorrhage.
During the 50’s Ford still struggled, but when the 60’s arrived and the Falcon, Mustang and Cortina were introduced things started rolling again.
In 1967 Ford of Europe was setup and when the oil crisis arrived in 1973, smaller and less powerful cars sold well for them.
The 70’s and 80’s see a flurry of new cars including the Fiesta and Sierra. In 1979 Ford takes a 25% share in Mazda. In 1987 Henry Ford II dies.
In 1990 Ford acquires Jaguar Cars, followed by Aston Martin In 1994. Also during the 90’s the introduction of the Mondeo and Focus for Europe are made and even more shares are taken in Mazda.
With the new millennium Ford acquires Land Rover, but there were big loses for Ford in the mid 2000’s, so they restructured, consolidated, closed factories, laid off 30,000 workers and sold Hertz in 2005, Aston Martin in 2007, Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors in 2008 and Volvo in 2010 and ended the Mercury brand in 2011 and reduced its shares considerably in Mazda. This all put Ford back in a profit making position.
Just to mention that Ford have also had a very successful time in performance cars building and motorsport, with various departments being created and many in-house tuners, including Cosworth, Roush, M-Sport, Ford TeamRS, Special Vehicle Team (SVT), Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) and Ford Special Vehicle Operations (SVO).