Whenever you’re looking to buy a new car, or even are asked to picture a car, how many people think Ford? That white lettering swirling around the blue plate is a symbol known the world over, and there really is very little success stories quite like Henry Ford’s empire. Here we’re going to look at the timeline of this empire. So without further ado, let’s begin in the late 1800’s.
1896 – Ford’s first vehicle was built – the Quadricycle, a vehicle that used 4 bike wheels and a tiller instead of a steering wheel. The 4-horsepower engine had 2 gears neither being reverse.
1899 – Ford joined, and one year later left, the Detroit Automobile Company
1901 – Ford founded the Henry Ford Company, an auto manufacturer, after defeating Alexander Winton, the top racer of the day.
1903 – Ford turned a profit of $37,000 in the October after using almost all its funds to get the Ford Model A up and running in the July.
1907 – The ford logo we all know was born. Created by Childe Harold Wills with his grandfather’s stencil set, this logo will go on to be one of the most recognizable ever.
1908 – The Model T was born, the black icon would sell over 15 million units in its life. Ford also went international in this year with the opening of a Paris branch.
1913 – The birth of the modern moving assembly line. With this, Ford managed to reduce the chassis assembly time by over 700%.
1914 – Ford lowered the working day to 8 hours, and had a queue of over thousands of people waiting for jobs after announcing a $5 daily wage.
1925 – Ford started creation of the “Tin Goose”, a commercial airline. Ford was a huge supporter of airlines and offered all 35 patents royalty free to see the industry soar (pun intended).
1932 – Ford created one of the most popular engines ever, the Flathead V8. Affordable and more importantly powerful, the engine took America by storm.
1941 – Ford joined Americas war effort, the production of the well-known GP Jeep begun.
1945 – Civilian production returned after the war.
1954 – American safety became more of a focus for Ford, the crash test was introduced.
1964 – Everyone’s favorite muscle car was born, the Mustang with its low price and range of variations and customizable parts made it one of the best selling cars ever.
1965 – Like the mustang the year previous, this year saw the birth of another big hitter in the Ford repertoire, a joint Ford Germany and Ford UK collaboration; the Transit.
1966 – The Ford GT40 broke Ferrari’s Le Mans domination to get the title of the first US manufacturer ever to win.
1976 – The Fiesta, the hot hatch, stole the title of the first internationally successful front wheel car. It had one of the largest development budgets and took the Mustang’s title of fastest selling car.
1981 – The Escort was born, a car designed for the world and in turn it shared parts with its European counterpart, sometimes to its downfall. It was a hit.
1988 – Ford’s earnings globally reached $5.3 billion.
1990 – Ford created another car market, the SUV, with its Explorer model.
1995 – Ford were caught in very hot water after a campaign appeared featuring a photo from a 1991 ethnic diversity advertisement with the minorities replaced with white faces. This caused a storm and the workers were compensated.
1996 – The first Ford electric vehicle was created; the Ranger Electric Vehicle. This Ranger used lead acid batteries.
1999 – Ford took control of a major rival. The brand bought Volvo, a Swedish car brand known worldwide for $6.45 billion.
2000 – Ford blamed Bridgestone for 271 deaths and not the Ford Explorer.
2002 – Ford became the center of a strong public environmental concern. Greenpeace called Ford out accusing them of not taking Global Warming seriously. Ford had to spend millions on a campaign to tackle public opinion and environmental concerns amongst its products.
2003 – The 100th anniversary of the company. As a result Ford decided to produce 5 models with a centennial edition, a model that came in “any color as long as it’s black” a nod to the Model T.
2010 – Ford secured the position as Europe’s 5th largest automaker, and announced an investment in developing the next generation of automotive; the electrical car.
2016 – The GT hit Le Mans with 66, 67, 68 and 69 numbered GT’s to commemorate the ever-impressive 4 victories 50 years before hand.
2017 – Announced in May, Ford planned to cut 10% of jobs worldwide due to lower profit and share prices.
From the humble hand-built vehicle to the multi-billion dollar automotive superpower, the story of Ford is nothing but awe-inspiring. Always at the forefront of technology and environmental consciousness, this motoring genius has unreal numbers of vehicles whipping up and down roads worldwide.
Throughout Ford’s life there always seemed to be some troubling year for the company on the horizon, and yet they always come through stronger and more established as a brand. I for one would happily own a Ford and wouldn’t doubt the quality or history of the worldwide automotive giant.