Image credit: Ford.
By: Paul Reiners Jr.
Ford Motor Company is one of the greatest automobile manufacturers of all time. This iconic motor company was started by the ideas of Henry Ford in Detroit, Michigan. With a skill and passion for craftsmanship, Ford built an experimental car in 1896. It was a 2 cylinder engine with potential of reaching upwards of 20mph. Despite the common view, Ford was not an instant success, being denied on numerous occasions for funding and support. It was not until 1901 that he got his big break. Ford challenged race car driver, Alexander Winton, to a race (Ford being in his own car). Ford shocked the public, which brought great attention to both him and his car.
Ford's first production was the 1903 Model A selling for $850. In the first season it sold 1,708 cars. He also produced the Model C only to introduce the Model B for $2000. In 1906 Ford introduced the Model N for $500 killing Oldsmobile, which lead to the introduction of the famous Model T in 1909. With More than 15 million made, the Model T became extremely popular for the next 18 years due to its price of $850, fuel economy and speed of 40mph. Production increased rapidly over the years as Ford continued to expand into Great Britain, France, and Germany. Although Ford became a strong automobile company, change was needed. In 1927 the Model T was succeeded by the $450 Model A, selling 4.5 million over the next four years.
When Henry Ford beat Alexander Winton in the 1901 race, Ford not only spawned the start of his company, but the future of Ford Racing. With the modification of Fords to the mass production of racing parts, today Ford Racing is involved in all aspects of racing such as NASCAR, Formula One, Le-Mans, WRC, and the NHRA. Ford's involvement in racing is 100 years strong and continues to grow over the years.
1914 Model T: Introduced in 1908 for $850 by 1922 it had been reduced to $300, thanks to Henry Ford's assembly line, which debuted with the 1914 model
1928 Model A: Finally a Ford Available in six colors and multiple body styles, the new Model A was faster and more powerful than the Model T, capable of speedsup to 65 mph thanks to its 40hp L-head 4cyl. motor.
1941 Lincoln Continental: Created by the Edsel design department, the Continental was based on the design success of the Lincoln Zephyr. Introduction of the pushbutton door handles.
1948 F-1 truck: Its F-series debuted in 1948 eventually becoming the world's all-time best-selling vehicle.
1955 Thunderbird: The debut of this luxury sports car with its performance and styling, made the two-seater T-bird an instant classic.
1960 Falcon: Ford's first compact car market, which eventually lead the way for the Mustang.
1961 Jaguar E-type: Exceeding speeds of 150mph, the sheer speed and innovation made E-type one of the most recognizable cars in the world.
1964 Aston Martin DB4: Became an instant classic when super spy James Bond became associated with this beauty in 2 feature films starring Sean Connery.
1964 Mustang: The Start of one of the most iconic cars still on the road today. Targeted for the younger audience, this was a massive success.
1970 Range Rover: The Range Rover was the world's first luxury SUV.
1986 Ford Taurus: Ahead of its time, the Ford Taurus Was a major success, topping the charts for us cars for 15 years and receiving car of the year in its debut.
1990 Mazda Miata: The Miata was the first true American sports car that combined the style of British sports car with reliability of a Japanese car at an affordable price.
1991 Ford Explorer: The Ford Explorer spawned the age of the SUV popularity, and is still running strong to date.
Ford's current and future focus is without a doubt fuel economy. They plan on doing this by making their vehicles smaller and engines lighter without sacrificing performance, safety or Style. Ford also wants to push to idea of luxury and appear more “upscale” with the closing of mercury. Currently 90 percent of Ford’s vehicles are available with turbocharged Eco Boost engines as standard equipment or as an option by mid-2013. This is a hug current advantage and will continue in the future, putting out as much horsepower as the previous mustang 4.6 V8. The Eco Boost is offered as an option on the Taurus, Flex, F150, Explorer, Edge, and Mustang.
Fiesta: Recently Restyling This Year, 2 Eco Boost options to come 2014 Year.
Mustang: This iconic muscle car is scheduled to be redesigned for the 2015 year. The 2014 with be the 50th anniversary. Ford considers the Mustang's 50th anniversary to be a very big deal. Long overdue, the new Mustang is expected to move to an independent rear suspension.
F-150: The F-150 is scheduled to be redesigned for the 2015 or 2016 year to a new platform called the P552. Last Year, Ford finally replaced the pickup's powertrains.
Taurus: Ford is launching a restyled 2013 Taurus sedan. This was a important vehicle, being the first vehicle in Ford's lineup to offer two Eco Boost engine choices. The car will offer a re-engineered version of the 3.5-liter V6 Eco Boost engine currently available in the Taurus SHO. It also will offer the 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Focus: Ford launched an electric version is for the 2012 model year. A performance version called the Focus ST, with a 2.0-liter Eco Boost engine, was also launched this year. There is another high-performance all-wheel-drive RS that is sold in Europe, which could be sold here. The current Focus RS is priced in the $30ks.
Explorer: The redesigned Explorer went on sale in 2010. Look for a refresh in the 2014 or 2015 model year.
Edge: Ford reskinned the Edge in 2011. A redesign is expected in the 2014 or 2015 model year. It will be smaller and use Ford's global mid-sized platform.
Ford was founded in 1903 and has been supplying the world’s consumers with quality automobiles for decades, and won't be going away anytime soon. In tough economic times, will Ford survive? Although Ford's sales have taken a hit over the past 5 years, going from nearly $150 billion in 2007, to an estimated $125 billion in 2012, they are projected to reach 2007 levels by 2016. Ford’s past success has been credited to the history of innovating, and into the future this trend of innovation and new products will bring them to the next level. As the world looks for an eco-friendly alternative to the gas-guzzler, Ford seeks the solution.
1863 — Birth of Henry Ford
1901 — Henry Ford beats Alexander Winton
1903 — The first Model A produced
1906 — Ford overtakes Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac to become No.1 U.S.
1908 — Introduction of the Ford Model T
1914 — Announcement of $5 workday at Ford
1915 — 1-millionth Ford built
1921 — 5-millionth Ford built
1922 — Ford Motor Co. acquires Lincoln Motor Co.
1925 — First pickup introduced
1927 — Model T production ends with 15-millionth built
1932 — Introduction of Ford V-8
1937 — 25-Millionth Ford built
1947 — Death of Henry Ford
1956 — Sale of Ford Motor Co. common stock begins
1959 — 50-millionth car
1978 — 150-millionth Ford vehicle is built
1996 — 250-millionth Ford vehicle built
2003 — Celebrating 100 Year Anniversary