The History of Ford Motor Company
By: Good2GoPublished: December 7, 2016
We often take for granted how easily we can travel to new places. Most of us use a car to get to work, the grocery store, to pick our kids up from school, and other daily activities. If we had to walk (or ride a horse) every time we needed to get somewhere, it’d be nearly impossible to accomplish so many tasks in one day. Luckily, on June 16, 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and changed the automobile industry in the United States forever by mass producing gasoline vehicles and making them affordable to most Americans.
Prior to founding the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford was a very busy man. In 1896, he designed the Quadricycle at his home in Detroit. This vehicle was powered by a four-horsepower engine and rode on four bicycle wheels and sold for $200, which today would be around $5,400. The success of the Quadricycle led to the incorporation of the Ford Motor Company in June 1903, when Henry Ford and 12 other stockholders signed the official paperwork to create the new corporation. A month later, the first Ford car was assembled.
In the beginning, only a few cars were being assembled daily by hand using parts made to order from other companies. In 1908, Ford introduced the Model T. This vehicle was affordable, efficient, and reliable, and within a decade, more than half the cars in America were Model Ts. At this time, there were only about 18,000 miles of paved road in the U.S., so Ford worked against the rough terrain by using light but strong vanadium steel for the vehicle’s critical parts. Although Ford ceased production of the Model T in 1927, there were 15 million sold in the 19 years it was available, making it one of the best-selling vehicles of all time.
During the production of the Model T, Ford Motor Company developed the world’s first moving assembly line for cars. The company’s methods of mass producing vehicles set a standard for the industry, and even introduced the $5 daily wage for an eight-hour day, up from $2.34 for nine hours. The increased minimum wage improved employee retention and had thousands line up outside Ford’s employment office hoping to be hired. With better pay and shorter hours, employees could afford one of Ford’s models to travel back and forth to work and also allowed for additional leisure time, which were large components in constructing the American middle class.
In 1917, Henry Ford expanded by building a huge factory along the banks of the River Rouge in Dearborn, Michigan. This was done despite resistance from Ford’s other stockholders, who did not want to build the plant because of its cost. Henry Ford, who already owned 58.5% of the company, bought them out and named his son Edsel as president of the company. The plant combined a glass factory, tire factory, steel mill, and assembly line – which are all necessary components needed for producing automobiles. The River Rouge complex is still evolving and works to meet the needs of modern automobile manufacturing processes.
Ford went on to acquire the Lincoln Motor Company and today owns a small stake in Mazda. The company has come a long way from the Model T vehicle, and is responsible for designing popular vehicles models throughout history. Some were luxury vehicles, like the Thunderbird and Mustang, and others like the Taurus and F-150 that are more practical for daily use. Still over a century later, Ford Motor Company is one of the leading auto manufacturers in the world and continues to produce safe, reliable vehicles for the masses.
Whether or not you own a Ford, you’ll want to make sure you’re protecting your car when you’re on the road. If you’re looking for great auto insurance coverage, Good2Go provides cheap, minimum coverage car insurance. Visit www.good2go.com for no-hassle auto insurance that’s quick, easy, and affordable.