Beginning. The company was established by Henry Ford in 1903. Five years later, the T model was launched.
Development. In the 1930s, Ford cars were divided into passenger and light commercial vehicles (since that time pick-up versions have been based on passenger car chassis). During World War II, the Ford GPW model—the counterpart of Jeep Willys—was manufactured for the Army. After the war, the company continued to develop. In 1964, the Ford Mustang was created — a sports car at that time. The Ford Mustang and the Ford Falcon, launched in 1960, were the first American compact cars after World War II and boosted sales considerably. Ford was selling so many cars at the time that it had to reduce the production to avoid paying enormous penalties for exceeding a 60% share in the market. In 1980, the Ford Escort made its debut in Europe. The car did not sell very well because of its unattractive body style. The Sierra and Scorpio models arrived a bit later. Quality problems of the former cast a shadow over the entire company. In the next decade, owing to a closer cooperation with the German Ford branch, the Mondeo and Focus models were created, which proved to be very successful.
Present. Ford is the fifth largest car manufacturer in the world (and in Europe) and the second largest in the United States. In 2008, the company manufactured 5.5 million cars and it employed approximately 213,000 employees in 90 facilities all over the world. In 2010, the company's net profit was 6.6 billion dollars.
Contribution to the automotive industry. Owing to the use of assembly lines for Ford T production, the car was becoming cheaper and cheaper. Its price made it possible for people with average earnings to consider its purchase. By 1928, when its production ended, over 15 million of these cars had been manufactured. The T model was assembled by unskilled workers. Owing to the production line, its assembly time was reduced from 12 hours to 1.5 hours. This was probably the most important breakthrough in serial car manufacturing.
Trivia. Henry Ford was famous for his saying: "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black." Unfortunately, the company's founder was also well-known for his views. Antisemitism was propagated in a newspaper that he published. Ford himself was a friend of Hitler's. Ford would famously give a birthday present to Hitler — a cheque for 100,000 marks, and Hitler awarded him with the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. Interestingly enough, Ford also propagated pacifism to the same degree. He was also against trade unions — he recognised them in his facilities only in 1941 after the strike at the River Rouge factory and after a few court cases.
Popular contemporary Ford models: Ford Ka, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Ford C-MAX, Ford Mondeo, Ford Fusion, Ford Galaxy, Ford S-MAX, Ford Kuga, Ford Ranger.
Tyres. Goodyear is one of numerous companies which provide tyres for Ford. A lot of Ford models come equipped with these tyres.
- • Goodyear Vector 5+ / Eagle Vector 2+ – Ford C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, Galaxy, Ka, Mondeo, S-Max;
- • Goodyear Excellence – Ford C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, Focus ST, Fusion, Kuga, Mondeo, S-Max;
- • Goodyear UltraGrip 7+ – Ford C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Galaxy, Ka, Mondeo, Transit Connect;
- • Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 2 – Ford Fiesta, Fusion, Galaxy, Mondeo, S-Maxl
- • Goodyear DuraGrip – Ford Fiesta, Fusion, Transit Connect;
- • Goodyear Wrangler HP All Weather – Ford Kuga;
- • Goodyear Wrangler AT/SA – Ford Ranger;
- • Goodyear Cargo G26 – Ford Transit;
- • Goodyear Cargo UltraGrip2 – Ford Transit.
Apart from Goodyear products, Fords are also equipped with Bridgestone tyres (Bridgestone R623 in Ford Ranger, Bridgestone ER30 in Ford New Fiesta or Bridgestone ER300 in Ford Focus), Michelin (Michelin Energy Pilot in Ford Focus C-MAX, Michelin Energy in Ford KA or Michelin Pilot Primacy in Ford Mondeo).