Eventually your car company becomes a household name and before you know it, people in other countries want to drive your cars too.
Fast-forward a couple of years and your profits per year are over $170 billion and more than 245,000 people worldwide are listed on your payroll. If this is your story, then your little motor shop must be the Ford Motor Company.
Listed as the Number Three car manufacturer in the world after General Motors and Toyota, Ford is more than just the famous blue oval: it’s an international institution.
No matter which country you visit in the world, Ford Motor Company will have a presence on its roads.
Founding father Henry Ford opened the factory doors at the beginning of the 20th century in Michigan, Detroit, and although Ford and his handful workers only put together a couple of cars a day, he was determined to make an impression on the American market.
The famous Model T debuted in 1908 and was considered one of more expensive cars on the market at the time. Despite that, demand for the T was such that Ford had to move operations to larger premises to cope with the increase in production.
A few years later Ford became the first company to introduce the moving assembly line, a huge milestone in automotive manufacturing history.
This decreased production time by several hours and enabled workers to churn out more complete vehicles per day. This in turn brought the price per vehicle right down, and soon everyone who could drive was driving a Ford.
Volvo and Mazda
The success story continues right into the new millennium. Ford has manufacturing plants all over the world to service international demand. Ford also owns the rights to Swedish car manufacturer Volvo and controls one-third of Japanese manufacturer Mazda.
Up until March of this year, Ford’s British interests included Jaguar and Aston Martin.
Lincoln and Mercury
On home soil, Ford is also behind the exclusively American Mercury and Lincoln makes. One of the reasons Ford is so successful on a global scale is that it designs and manufactures vehicles specific to a particular country’s demographic and the kinds of vehicles they prefer to drive.
The models that do well in Europe, Asia or southern Africa won’t necessarily do as well in the States, and vice versa.
Ford is more than simply hatchbacks, SUVs and people-carriers.
Ford Formula One Racing
Until four years ago it was also involved in Formula One racing, and it’s been a long-time success story at the World Rally Championships.
Ford’s GT40 is considered one of the greatest endurance vehicles of all time. Ford also manufactures buses, tractors, pick-up trucks and heavy trucks.
Ford Goes Hybrid
Recently Ford has become a champion of the environment after introducing the Ford Escape Hybrid to the market two years ago.
The name Ford rings clear with everyone all over the world, young and old, and if Henry Ford could see what had grown from that little factory in Michigan more than a hundred years down the line, he’d be pleased he had the guts to go with the idea in the first place.