Ford Motor Company


May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on April 23, 2017

Ford LogoBrief 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).

Ford Thunderbird
Thunderbird 1955-1957

Ford Capri Mk1
Capri Mk1 1969-1974

Ford Capri Mk2
Capri Mk2 1974-1977

Ford Capri Mk3
Capri Mk3 1977-1986

Ford Falcon XB
Falcon XB 1973-1976

Ford Falcon AU
Falcon AU 1998-2002

Ford Falcon BA
Falcon BA 2002-2005

Ford Falcon BF
Falcon BF 2005-2008

Ford Falcon FG
Falcon FG 2008 on

Ford Mustang 1st Gen
Mustang 1st Gen 1964-1973

Ford Mustang 2nd Gen
Mustang 2nd Gen 1974-1978

Ford Mustang 3rd Gen
Mustang 3rd Gen 1979-1993

Ford Mustang 4th Gen
Mustang 4th Gen 1994-2004

Ford Mustang 5th Gen
Mustang 5th Gen 2005-2014

Ford Mustang 6th Gen
Mustang 6th Gen 2015

Ford Gran Torino
Gran Torino 1974-1976

Ford Fiesta XR2
Fiesta XR2 Mk1 1981-1983 & Mk2 1984-1989

Ford Fiesta XR2i
Fiesta XR2i 1989-1994

Ford Fiesta RS Turbo
Fiesta RS Turbo 1990-1992

Ford Fiesta ST
Fiesta ST 2005-2008

Ford Fiesta ST
Fiesta ST 2013 on

Ford Puma
Puma 1997-2002

Ford Cougar
Cougar 1998-2002

Ford Escort Mk1
Escort Mk1 Mexico & RS 1970-1975

Ford Escort Mk2
Escort Mk2 Mexico & RS 1975-1980

Ford Escort XR3i
Escort XR3i & RS1600i 1981-1993

Ford Escort RS Turbo
Escort RS Turbo 1983-1990

Ford Escort RS2000
Escort RS2000 Mk5 & Mk6 1991-1996

Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Escort RS Cosworth 1992-1996

Ford Sierra XR4i
Sierra XR4i, XR4x4, Merkur XR4Ti 1983-1993

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
Sierra RS Cosworth 1985-1993

Ford Focus ST170
Focus ST170 2002-2004

Ford Focus ST
Focus ST (XR5) 2005-2010

Ford Focus ST
Focus ST 2012 on

Ford Focus RS Mk1
Focus RS Mk1 2002-2003

Ford Ford Focus RS MK2
Focus RS Mk2 2009-2010

2016 Ford Focus RS
Focus RS Mk3 2016

Ford Mondeo ST24
Mondeo ST24 1996-2000

Ford Mondeo ST200
Mondeo ST200 1999-2000

Ford Mondeo ST220
Mondeo ST220 2002-2007

Ford GT40
GT40 1964-1968

Ford XR8 Ute
XR8 Ute – Falcon

Ford GT
GT 2003-2006

2017 Ford GT
GT 2017 on

Ford RS200
RS200 1984-1986