Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company, currently the third largest carmaker in the world, with the Dodge Brothers in 1903. While Henry Ford has been building motor vehicles before this, 1903 is the year when he, supported by twelve investors, established the famous company.
Ford’s first cars were named chronologically with letters: the model A was introduced in 1903 for example. In 1904 Ford introduced the world famous T Model that was to become a symbol of the American motorcar industry.
In 1907 Ford launched its current Blue Oval Trademark but it wasn’t until 1928 that a Model A had the first version of the familiar Ford script.
Henry Ford had witnessed a huge success with his vehicles especially with the T Model and by the early 1910’s he expanded overseas, with production facilities in France, Denmark and Germany, England and Austria.
When the First World War started, Ford was producing half of the cars being sold in the US and almost half of all cars being produced in England. During the war, Ford produced many of its cars for the military.
In 1922, Ford acquired Lincoln Motor Company in the desire of expanding its market share as Ford wanted to enter the luxurious car market.
By 1941, Ford owned the largest assembly plant in the world and during the World War II Ford produced not only your standard military vehicles, but also B-24 Liberator bombers and tanks.
Henry Ford died in 1947 and by that time Ford was a reputed world carmaker. It is said that over seven million people paid their final respects at his funeral.
Post WWII Ford was a company that developed and evolved very fast. Many famous models were produced in the 1950s and the 1960s, such as the Thunderbird (1955), the F-1 truck (1948) and the Mustang (1964). Ford also continued to develop and implement the latest technologies in their cars and they had become one of the most important carmakers in the world during the Cold War.
During that time Ford Motor Company continued to expand overseas, looking for other possible investments. In 1979 they bought a quarter of the Japanese carmaker Mazda, in 1987 Ford bought Aston Martin and in 1989 Ford acquired Jaguar. In 1999 Ford acquired Volvo and Land Rover in 2000.
In 2003 Ford Motor Company celebrated its 100th birthday and it introduced a series of special commemorative cars, such as the new Ford Mustang. In the recent years Ford has faced some financial problems (the company reported losses of over $12 billion for the 2006 fiscal year) that led to the selling of some of the brands from the Ford group: Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover.
As gas prices in the United States continue to soar the Ford Motor Company will need to keep pace with current market trends and foreign manufacturers know for smaller cars and better fuel economy to stay a viable and profitable business.