The Ford Motor Company has been manufacturing cars since the early 1900s after its founder, Henry Ford, incorporated the company on June 16, 1903. Ford is the fourth largest vehicle maker in the world based on worldwide sales. They trail Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagon. The company is located in Dearborn, Michigan just outside of Detroit. Aside from their brands of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, Ford also has international models in Sweden called Volvo and Mazda of Japan. They were once a part owner of Aston Martin in England. They sold their part ownerships of Jaguar and Land Rover to TaTa in India in March of 2008.
Ford is the third largest manufacturer in the United States in terms of sales behind GM and Toyota. It was the first time in 56 consecutive years that Ford had fallen from the number two largest manufacturer in the country. Henry Ford revolutionized the manufacturing world with his large-scale assembly line designs and how he treated his industrial workforce. His model for success became known globally as Fordism. The company has stayed within the Ford family for over 100 years.
Over the past few years the Ford Motor Company has struggled to make a profit and needed a new plan to revitalize the company. Company chairman Bill Ford requested a plan from Mark Fields, the president of the American Division. The plan was released to the public in 2006 and it was titled “The Way Forward.” This plan did consist of major layoffs across the company and it resulted in the consolidation of production lines, the closing of 14 factories and cutting 30,000 jobs.
Ford has been one of the many motor vehicle manufacturing companies that has moved into producing hybrid cars and fuel flexible cars. Their fuel flexible cars are the Ford F-150, the Crown Victoria, the Focus, the Taurus, the Ranger, the Explorer, the Mercury Grand Marquis, and the Lincoln Town Car. Their hybrid vehicles have been produced every couple of years from 2004 to 2009. In 2004 the company released its Ford Escape Hybrid. In 2006 the company released its Mercury Mariner Hybrid, in 2008 the company released its Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrid and in 2009 it released the 2009 Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX Hybrid.
Ford, aside from manufacturing vehicles for everyday use, is also a major player in three of NASCAR’s races. They manufacture cars for the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. Their Ford F-150 is used in the Craftsman Truck Series and the mid-size Fusion is used in the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series.
One of the most popular and recognizable Ford cars is their ultimate sports car; the Ford Mustang. The Mustang was first manufactured in 1964 and released that same year at the New York World’s Fair. The vehicle is modeled after the Ford Falcon, one of the company’s compact cars. There are five generations of the Mustang, the fifth one beginning in 2005 and continuing into the present. The Mustang, not only the company’s most popular car, is the company’s most successful model as well.