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Ford: A Brief History of an Iconic American Company

Over 110 years ago, the Ford family started Ford, a company that is now the second-largest family-controlled company in the world. Through the years, Ford has produced iconic cars such as the Mustang and the F150. But how did Ford get to where it is today? If you’ve ever wanted to know the answer to this question, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s a brief run-through of the entire history of the Ford Motor Company.

When Was Ford Founded?

Henry Ford is credited with inventing the automobile, although he called his first car a quadricycle. His first venture into car manufacturing was the Detroit Automobile Company, which was started in 1899. However, the company was short-lived and was quickly replaced by the Henry Ford Company in 1901. In 1902, an argument with Henry’s financial backers led him to leave the company with just $900.

Henry Ford turned to his friend Alexander Malcomson to create a new company to build a car. Ford and Malcomson created the corporate entity known as ‘Ford and Malcomson’, and the pair began designing a car. However, the manufacturing firm was demanding money, and Malcomson’s uncle, John Gray, suggested incorporating Ford and Malcomson. The investment group brought in 12 more investors, and Ford Motor Company was incorporated with shares distribution being determined by the value of contributions made to the firm. The motor company immediately became profitable.

When Was the First Ford Car Produced?

The Ford Model K was the company’s first six-cylinder model and was known as the ‘gentleman’s roadster’ because models before this were called the ‘gentleman’s runabout’. The Model K cost $2,800, significantly more expensive than other cars of the time. The Model K was sold at a price of $2,800. At the same time, the Enger 40 cost $2,000 but other cars were being sold for less than $1,000. In 1908, the Model T was introduced to the public. This was around the same time that Ford began producing a few cars a day at a rented factory in Detroit.

Within the first year of the production of Model T’s, Ford produced 10,000 of the vehicles. In 1910, Ford moved production to a larger plant, which was capable of producing more Model T’s. Due to the increased demand for Model T’s, Ford developed assembly line techniques. As a result, production time was lowered from 12 1/2 hours to around 2 hours and 40 minutes. In 1913, Ford reached an even higher production rate of 1 hour and 33 minutes. Production hit 501,462 cars in 1915. By 1920, over a million automobiles were being produced each year.

Where Is Ford Today?

Ford marked its 100th anniversary by releasing the Ford GT and special editions of certain Ford vehicles. Ford released the first-generation Ford Escape in 2004, and in 2005 the Mustang was redesigned to resemble the 1960s models. 

Since the 2014 model year, the Ford Mustang has celebrated five decades of production with the launch of its sixth generation. The 2012 model year Ford Mondeo was launched at the North American International Auto Show and featured a European market version of the car. This version of the mid-sized Ford Mondeo was first made available in Europe, and it was the first time that Ford had sold a single version of its vehicle in both markets since the 1994 model year.


We hope this article has helped you gain a better understanding of the Ford Motor Company. As you can see, this iconic company has come a long way. Considering the quality of vehicles that they’ve consistently churned out, it is not at all surprising to see this company still thrive to this day. Be sure to keep everything you learned here in mind the next time you step foot in a Ford car so that you can fully appreciate how far the company has come.

While Ford cars are already great as is, it’s important to add your personal touch to them. This is why Color Seat Belts can produce custom seat belts in whatever color you like to make any automobile unique. We can re-stitch your OEM tags in 24 hours and provide a lifetime warranty. Ready to get started? Contact us right away!

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