Top 10 Car Manufacturers: Ford Motor Company

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Colin Pawsey

#5: Ford Motor Company

A brief history

Ford was incorporated by Henry Ford and a group of investors, in Michigan in 1903. In October 1908 Ford introduced the Model T, which became one of the most popular cars in the world. Production ran until 1927, by which time over 15 million Model T’s had been produced worldwide. In 1913 Ford opened the Highland Park plant in Michigan, with the world’s first moving automobile production line. In the following year Ford offered jobs at the plant which paid $5 per day for eight hours work. The previous minimum daily wage was $2.34 for a nine-hour day.

By 1919 Henry Ford and his son Edsel had acquired all interests of the Company and became sole owners, with Edsel succeeding his father as President of the company; a position he held until his death in 1943. Henry Ford briefly returned to the head of the company, and was succeeded by his Grandson, Henry Ford II in 1945. During the war years Ford began to produce general purpose Jeeps for the U.S. Military and from February 1942 the company produced military vehicles only, with civilian production not resuming until July 1945.

In January 1956 Ford common stock went on sale, with 10.2 million shares sold in the first day, representing 22% of the company. During the 1950’s Ford began to produce the Thunderbird or ‘T-Bird’ model which became an iconic symbol of the ‘Rock and Roll’ culture that was developing at the time.

The company’s success in the following decades saw it establish more of a presence in Europe, acquiring shares in Mazda, Aston Martin, Hertz-Rent-a-Car, and Jaguar during the 1970’s. Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s Ford increased its shares in these European brands, and in 1993 opened its first dealership in China.

Ford suffered in the early 2000’s due to tyre defects, and Bridgestone/Firestone recalled 6.5 million tires in August 2000 after 271 rollover deaths in Ford Explorers. Ford subsequently recalled 13 million more tyres in May 2001, and Bridgestone/Firestone stopped supplying Ford, claiming the company was using the tyres as a scapegoat for problems with the Explorer. Federal investigators ultimately concluded that tyre defects were the main cause of the rollovers, and in 2005 Bridgestone/Firestone agreed to pay Ford $240 million towards the cost of the recalls, which amounted to $2 billion.

The 2000’s were a difficult period for the company, and by 2005 Ford had lost market share for the tenth year running, and lost its place as America’s best-selling brand to GM’s Chevrolet.

Founded 1903
Headquarters Dearborn, MI, USA
Revenue (2013) $146.9 Billion
Pre-tax profit (2013) $8.6 Billion
Employees worldwide 166,000 approx.
Vehicle sales (2013) 6.33 Million
CEO Mark Fields (replaced Alan Mulally)


 photo Mulally_2013_zps1335d008.jpgAlan Mulally was elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company in September 2006. Prior to his appointment he had been Executive Vice President of the Boeing Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. At the time he joined, Ford was considered one of the most financially troubled US automakers, and Mulally is credited with turning the fortunes of the company around. He shed weaker brands from the company’s portfolio, such as Volvo, Land Rover and Mazda, while mortgaging many of Ford’s assets, including production factories and the famous blue oval logo. Described by Mulally as a "$23.5 Billion home improvement loan", the cash injection helped Ford through the recession, avoiding the bankruptcy and subsequent bailout which befell General Motor and Chrysler Group in 2009.

Mulally is set to retire as CEO in July 2014 with his position due to be taken up by his current No. 2, Mark Fields. With Ford having regained its position as the 2nd placed US automaker in terms of sales, behind GM, he leaves the company in a much better position than he found it, prompting Ford Chairman, Bill Ford Jr, to describe him as a "hall of fame CEO".

 photo MFields_headshot_zpsdc898614.jpg Mark Fields also paid tribute to Mulally and underscored his commitment to the One Ford Plan, saying, "Under Alan’s leadership, we have seen the power of One Ford and what a culture of positive leadership and working together can accomplish. My commitment is to build on that success by accelerating our pace of progress".


One of Mulally’s legacies to the company is the ‘One Ford Plan’ he introduced, which encouraged collaboration among Ford’s many different factions and departments. The four main components of the plan are to foster functional and technical excellence, to work together, to develop Ford values as role models, and to deliver results. The One Ford Plan is the strategic platform for Ford’s future endeavours as it follows its Blueprint for Sustainability – a systematic plan to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.


Company information according to § 5 Telemediengesetz
IQPC Gesellschaft für Management Konferenzen mbH
Address: Friedrichstrasse 94, 10117 Berlin
Tel: 49 (0) 30 20 913 -274
Fax: 49 (0) 30 20 913 240
Registered at: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg, HRB 76720
VAT-Number: DE210454451
Management: Silke Klaudat, Richard A. Worden, Michael R. Worden

Firmeninformationen entsprechend § 5 Telemediengesetz
IQPC Gesellschaft für Management Konferenzen mbH
Adresse: Friedrichstrasse 94, 10117 Berlin
Telefonnummer: 030 20913 -274
Fax: 49 (0) 30 20 913 240
Email Adresse:
Registereintragungen: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg HRB 76720
Umsatzsteuer- Indentifikationsnummer DE210454451
Geschäftsführung: Silke Klaudat, Richard A. Worden, Michael R. Worden