If you are a car aficionado, there is likely at least one Ford vehicle that makes your heart go pitter-patter. Even if you prefer Pontiac or Chevrolet vehicles, no car lover would pass up an opportunity to own a Shelby Mustang GT500 or other classics that Ford has produced. For those that are big fans of Ford Motor Company, there are plenty of cars, trucks and even tractors for you to select from when looking for a new automobile or piece of farm equipment. Still, what do you really know about Ford Motor Company? You may be surprised by what you have to learn about this American automobile manufacturer.
The Rise of the Ford Motor Company
The Ford Motor Company has a long and interesting history that dates back to 1903. Since a 40-year-old Henry Ford first launched the company with only $28,000 that he received from twelve different investors, the company has grown into a juggernaut within the automotive industry. In fact, with a net income of $2.723 billion in 2007 and reported total assets of $279.264 billion that same year, the company is ranked third among U.S. automakers. While General Motors and Toyota have taken the first and second place spots, Ford had five vehicles rank at the top of the list on J.D. Power and Associates’ quality survey listings. Another fourteen of Ford’s vehicles ranked in the top three of the listings, making it the automaker with the most awards on the coveted list.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that two of the twelve people that invested in Ford’s new company were John and Horace Dodge, who later went on to form what is now known as the Dodge motor company.
During is early years, the Ford Motor Company only produced a few cars each day. In a factory located in Detroit, Michigan, groups of two or three men put together the vehicles after receiving the necessary components from other companies. Ford later introduced assembly lines to his factories and utilized mass production strategies in order to speed up production of his automobiles. He also paid his workers high wages and was one of only a few companies that managed to survive through the Great Depression.
The Ford Motor Company Today
Although it has been over 100 years since Henry Ford first opened the doors to the Ford Motor Company, the company is still family owned and continues to produce vehicles under the Ford name. It does, however, manufacture vehicles under other names as well. In the United States, for example, Ford products are also manufactured under the Lincoln and Mercury names. The company does not operate in only the United States, however, as it has major manufacturing operations in a number of other countries. These include:
– People’s Republic of China
– South Africa
– United Kingdom
Ford has also owned a number of other brands of vehicles in the past. For example, it purchased Aston Martin in 1989, but later sold it in 2007 while retaining a $77 million stake in the brand. The company also purchased Volvo Cars in 1989 as well as 33.4% controlling shares in Mazda. Ford also previously owned Land Rover and Jaguar, but sold both of them to Tata Motors in 2008.
In addition to manufacturing vehicles and tractors, the Ford Motor Company also sells aftermarket parts under the name of Motorcraft and has a parts division called Visteon. The company also provides automotive financing to car buyers through its Ford Motor Credit Company.
The Future of the Ford Motor Company
On January 23, 2006, the Ford Motor Company unveiled its The Way Forward plan. The plan provided details regarding precisely what the company planned to do in order to become profitable once more, which was a concern that had plagued the company for over a year as gas prices soared and consumers started losing interest in purchasing their large, gas guzzling vehicles. As part of the plan, fourteen factories were closed and 30,000 people lost their jobs.
The company now plans to invest in new products that will allow it to better compete in the marketplace, which includes developing more crossover SUVs, hybrid vehicles, and compact cars. Therefore, those that love Ford vehicles can expect to see a lot of new and exciting developments on the horizon.