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Family owned and operated for over 110 years, the Ford Motor Company is still the world’s fifth largest automobile manufacturers.
Automobile enthusiast Henry Ford began his career with the Detroit Automobile Company but quickly took his own designs and name and incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903. It only took two short years, but in those early days of manufacturing Henry Ford’s 12 initial investors saw a 300% profit for their investment.
From 1903 to 1907 the Ford Motor Company produced a line of cars that started with the Ford Model A and went to the Model S. By 1908 the world was ready to embrace what was to become the iconic Ford Model T.
In 1909 Ford was only able to assemble 18,000 Model T’s, despite their high demand. It was during this time that the idea of an automotive assembly line was conceived of and put into place. By reducing production time Ford was able to distribute over 200,000 cars by 1913.
The assembly line was hard on laborers and turnover was high. Ford solved the problem by increasing wages and reducing hours. It was Henry Ford who first introduced the idea of a 5 day, 8 hour work week. With these incentives, the Ford Motor Company was able to hire and retain the best workers, increasing productivity while decreasing its cost. As a result he was able to cut the prices of his automobiles making the Model T the most popular car of that time.
In 1922 The Ford Motor Company acquired the Lincoln Motor Company to help Ford meet the growing consumer desire for more luxurious cars. It wasn’t until 1938 that Mercury joined, making a good midpoint between the low priced Ford models and the luxury minded Lincolns.
The amazingly popular Model T Ford was finally retired in 1927. This move made it possible for the Ford Motor Company to keep up with its competitors and begin to create more innovative and modern models. They started with a re-vamped Model A whose sales were over a million for the next 4 years. Its popularity can be contributed to its low cost and larger engine, along with the introduction of a suspension system and hydraulic brakes.
The Great Depression and WWII took its toll on the Ford Motor Company until they began producing their 1949 line. As they moved into the ‘50’s they entered the sports car market with the Ford Thunderbird, able to reach an incredible 113 mph with its 5.1 liter engine. This was followed by the Ford Mustang in 1964, which still remains one of the most highly coveted sports cars in America.
Ford’s initial reluctance to stray from their earlier popular designs almost caused their demise, but the company learned fast, and by infusing the market with newer, innovative models have managed to maintain a stronghold in the automobile market.
Today’s Ford bears no resemblance to the simplistic Model T of its past. Instead, you will find a lineup of sophisticated automobiles sporting all of the newest advances in automotive technology.
C-Max – Ford’s hybrid has spent some time overseas, but has finally landed on American soil. Affordable for its class, the C-Max wagon has amazingly strong power for a hybrid.
E-Series – The E-series has been American’s full-sized van of choice since 1961. Unfortunately it looks like it has reached the end of its run and is set to be replaced by the Transit in the next few years.
Edge – This sporty midsized crossover has room for five and comes standard with a V-6,285 horse power engine. If you are looking for more power the Edge Sport sources its engine from sister Mustang and delivers 305 horsepower with 6 speeds.
Escape – A new design gives this compact crossover a more European feel. It’s starting price in the low $22,000 range makes it affordable for everyone.
Expedition – The only off-road capable SVU that still holds its truck based design, the Expedition is large enough to hold nine passengers in its roomy interior.
Explorer – The Explorer is Ford’s classic sport utility vehicle that it has managed to keep improving on to keep its look and performance modern.
F-Series – The Ford F-Series offers a wide range of pick-ups that are fully functional as a work vehicle but still offer the style and comfort you expect from a Ford.
Fiesta – The Fiesta has been delighting Europeans for forty years, but the hatchback has only recently debuted in the US. Not your typical sub-compact, the engine of the Fiesta has some unexpected perks, like a dual clutch automatic transmission.
Flex – While it has a decent fuel economy for a crossover and ample seating inside, style wise, the Flex cannot compete with the sleek body design of other vehicles in its class.
Focus – In 2013 the Focus finally managed to match its economic price tag with a stylish body design and an improved engine performance.
Fusion – Like the Focus, the Ford Fusion has also been given a more modern look for a midsized sedan with a powerful engine. With all of its improvements, the car industry has begun to compare the latest model Fusion to the Jaguar.
Mustang – The Ford Mustang continues to be the iconic American sports car. Ford offers its classic car at a reasonable price considering its class, and a vast array of options to help a consumer make it their own.
Shelby GT500 – It is hard to improve on seemingly perfection, but the Shelby does just that as a supercharged version of the iconic Mustang.
Taurus – The Ford Taurus was first introduced in 1986 and has set a new standard for the mid and full sized sedan market. With an innovative design and multiple features, the Taurus became the automobile that other manufacturers wanted to emulate.
Transit – New in the U.S. for 2015, this full sized utility vehicle will be replacing the outdated, yet highly successful E-series.
Since 1903, the Ford Motor Company has been a name immediately associated with high performance vehicles at affordable prices. Their current line-up reflects a company that is well equipped to make it through the next 100 years.