The Ford Motor Company is a full-line vehicle manufacturer with passenger car, van, light truck and commercial truck manufacturing capabilities. The Ford Motor Company is based in Dearborn, Michigan, US, and employs over 300,000 people worldwide. Ford’s manufacturing facilities produce Ford, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury, Volvo and other vehicles. With $106.1 billion in revenue, Ford places as the second largest automaker in the US, and ranks #7 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. Additional Ford services include Motorcraft premium parts and credit services provided by Ford Motor Credit Company.
The Ford Motor Company, by far, has to be the most historically rich automobile company out there. Ford Vehicles from a century ago grace today’s museums, and Henry Ford himself invented the assembly line, a method that all of today’s major manufacturing chains employ, not just automobiles. Because of this, and because of the fact that the Model-T revolutionized transportation, Henry Ford became one of the richest and best-known people throughout history. Used Ford cars, ford trucks and ford vehicles in general all help to uphold the reputation at Ford that has sustained this automobile giant throughout the years.
Henry Ford, who was born in Dearborn Michigan, started the Ford Motor Company in 1903 along with the Dodge Brothers. He had just left the Ford Company, which after he left was re-named Cadillac. Just like then, as is now, the Ford name was one by which a good reputation had been established. By the 1920’s the Ford Model-T was so cheap (the price dropped every year if you can imagine that) and easy to drive that almost every driving American had learned to operate one. It is almost the same situation with the Ford Taurus today, which was the best-selling vehicle for several years in a row back in the 1990’s when Ford was at its peak of production. Not only did Ford invent America’s first top-production vehicle and the assembly line, he also created a huge manufacturing industry which spawned the labor movement and the creation of unions. On top of all of those things, Ford brought fort the credit movement as well, becoming the eventual owner of Universal Credit Corporation, which became a major auto finance operation and helped to develop the credit scoring system that we use today to finance our houses and cars.
Ford was a pioneer of the concept of “welfare capitalism,” whereby he spent many of his efforts improving the lots of his workers. He built houses for his engineers in Dearborn and also offered them shares in the company if they behaved in such a way that the Ford “Social Department” approved of; refraining from drinking and gambling and other similar activities. Although he cared about his workers, he was completely against labor unions because he thought they were too heavily influenced from those outside the company. As a result, Ford was one of the last companies to recognize the UAW (United Auto Worker’s Union) and it took a sit-down strike that closed the river-rouge plant in 1941 before this finally occurred. Ironically, this spurred the national labor movement to be even stronger and now almost all blue-collar automobile workers today belong to the Union. Ford Motor Company still embodies this welfare ethic with its white-collar employees; offering vacation time and extended benefits and discounts.
Another principle that Henry Ford strove to uphold in his company is the safety principle. Ford emphasized that the safety of Ford vehicles must always be a #1 priority. Throughout his career, Ford developed extensive testing facilities with safety and quality being at the top of the chain. As a result, sales of family cars, such as minivans and the best-selling Taurus rose dramatically. Historically, Ford vehicles were sold to farmers as Henry Ford saw farmers as his biggest opportunity as they would need cars for commercial use. That tradition continues today with Ford’s production of large trucks, such as the F-series, that have a very good track record for hauling large loads and doing the heavy-duty required for the farm, and also for today’s urban landscape. The slogan, “Built Ford Tough” definitely applies here.
Although Ford, like most automobile companies struggle with rising gas prices and costs of productions, Ford still manages to uphold its reputation. Although Ford has had to downsize in recent years in an effort to reduce costs and keep up with the economy’s recent slow in production, it still maintains those same testing facilities that rigorously uphold each vehicle to those same exacting standards that guaranteed the Ford Motor Company a place in the history books.