20 interesting facts about Ford
No one can deny, that the Ford Motor Company is one of the most influential automakers of all times. The history of this family company with a world-wide recognition is full of interesting facts. And here are 20 of them.
1. According to a popular legend, after falling from his horse and hurting himself while working on his father’s farm, a young American came up with an idea to create a vehicle that would be safer and would not depend on animal power. This unfortunate rider was Henry Ford.
2. Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863, in the town of Springfield, Michigan. He was the oldest of six children of William and Mary Ford who owned a successful farm. Henry spent his childhood on the farm, helping his parents. At the age of 12, the future industrialist had a little workshop, where he spent all his leisure time. A few years later, he created his first steam engine.
3. In 1899, Henry Ford founded his first enterprise, the Detroit Automobile company. Unfortunately, this venture was not a successful one and the company was dissolved a year later. However, during that period Henry Ford was able to build a few racing cars. Ford himself participated in races; in October 1901, he competed in a race with Alexander Winton, the champion of America, and beat him. These events were the forerunners of the birth of the future famous automotive brand, with a laconic title – Ford.
4. The Ford Motor Company was created in 1903. It was founded by twelve people led by Henry Ford, who held 25.5% stake in the company, and served as a vice president and a chief engineer of the company. The main facility of the new company was established in a former van factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit.
5. The first vehicle, built by Ford was a “gasoline buggy” powered by an 8 h/p engine. Named simply the Model A, this vehicle was described as “the most perfect machine on the market, which even a 15-year-old boy is able to drive”. Throughout the next five years, the company used letters of Latin alphabet from A to S to distinguish its models. Some of these models were experimental, never intended to be released on the market.
6. Childe Harold Wills, a lead designer and a director of the newly created Ford Motor Company designed an official logo made of a short version of the Henry Ford’s signature inside an oval. In future, this emblem would become one of the most recognizable logos in the automobile world.
7. 1908 was marked by a landmark event for the whole world automobile industry. It was a year, when Henry Ford produced the Model T – a reliable and inexpensive car that became one of the most popular and mass-produced vehicles of its time. With a base price of $ 260, this model broke all existing records in the automotive industry, with 10,660 vehicles sold during the first year of production. The Model T, Nicknamed the Tin Lizzie by the Americans, became the most famous car in the history of the automotive industry.
8. In order to meet a massive demand for the Model T, Henry Ford established an assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting. Thanks to this technical improvement a new Model T was produced every 10 seconds. In 1913, the Ford Motor Company achieved a tremendous advancement in efficiency, which had major effect on the world automobile industry.
9. In 1919, Henry Ford and his son Edsel bought off all the shares in the Ford Motor Company and took the company under their full control. The same year, Henry Ford passed the presidency in the Ford Motor Company to his son. After the premature death of Edsel, Henry Ford resumed the presidency of the company.
10. In 1922, more than a half of the automobiles, made in the United States were produced by the Ford Motor Company. The same year Ford bought the Lincoln Motor Company.
11. The astonishing success of the Ford Motor Company on the home market enabled a rapid expansion to foreign markets. The first over-the-sees Ford assembly factory was established in the United Kingdom, followed by divisions, opened in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Japan, China, Russia. The brand became well-known all over the world.
12. In 1932, Henry Ford invented the “en block”, or one piece, a V-8 engine, which was a great technological triumph. Ford Motor Company became the first automaker to offer affordable cars, powered by a V-8 engine. This technology was conceived as years ahead of its time and it literally took years for other automakers to catch-up with Ford.
13. In 1942, the company was forced to take on the production of military equipment. The president of Ford Motor Company Edsel Ford started a giant military program in order to support the American war effort. During the wartime company produced 86000 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, 57000 aircraft engines and more than quarter of a million tanks, tank destroyers, self-propelled artillery vehicles and other equipment. Edsel Ford prematurely died in 1943, when his military program was at a peak of its efficiency. Ford Motor Company was one of the key contributors to Allied victory in World War II.
14. On September 24, 1945 Henry Ford left the post of the President of Ford Motor Company, which he had been holding after the premature death of his son Edsel. He ceded the company presidency to his grandson, Henry Ford II. Two years later on April 7, 1947 the founder of the most famous American automobile company passed away at Fair Lane, his estate, at the age of 83.
15. Henry Ford II proved to be an effective manager. He initiated a plan of post-war reorganization of the company in order to restore efficiency and financial health, which had been lost during World War II. Under the leadership of the new president, Ford Motor Company built 44 production factories, 18 assembly factories, 32 spare parts storages, two massive testing facilities and 13 engineering laboratories. The American company started to equip its car with newest technological innovations, like a sunroof and АМ/FM radio.
16. In 1964, the company presented its brand-new model, the Ford Mustang, at the New York World’s Fair. The new car was warmly received by the general public. The 4-man vehicle soon became America’s favourite car, with 100 000 sold within the first 100 days. During the first year of sales, 418 812 Ford Mustangs were sold, which brought a total profit of one billion USD.
17. In 1970, the Ford Motor Company became the first automaker to equip its production vehicles with a front disk brake.
18. In 1996, the 250 000 000 vehicles rolled out the Ford factory. In 1998, the Ford Motor Company became the world’s second largest motor vehicle manufacturing group by consolidated figures.
19. The Car of the Century was an international award given to the world’s most influential car of the 20th century. In 2000, the international jury of 126 professional automotive journalists gave the title “Car of the 20th Century” to the Ford Model Т (Tin Lizzie).
20. Nowadays, the Ford Motor Company controls foreign divisions, assembly factories and vehicle distribution stores in 30 countries all over the world. The American company produces millions of cars every year, following its latest official slogan – “Go Further.”