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History

A 1910 Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City

Henry Ford (ca. 1919

20th century
Henry Ford!s "irst atte#pt at a car co#pany $nder his o%n na#e %as the Henry Ford Co#pany on &o'e#(er ), 1901, %hich (eca#e theCadillac Motor Co#pany on A$g$st **, 190*, a"ter Ford le"t %ith the rights to his na#e. The Ford Motor Co#pany %as la$nched in a con'erted "actory in 190) %ith +*,,000 in cash "ro# t%el'e in'estors, #ost nota(ly -ohn and Horace .odge (%ho %o$ld later "o$nd their o%n car co#pany . .$ring its early years, the co#pany prod$ced /$st a "e% cars a day at its "actory on Mack A'en$e in .etroit,Michigan. 0ro$ps o" t%o or three #en %orked on each car, asse#(ling it "ro# parts #ade #ostly (y s$pplier co#panies contracting "or Ford. 1ithin a decade the co#pany %o$ld lead the %orld in the e2pansion and re"ine#ent o" the asse#(ly line concept3 and Ford soon (ro$ght #$ch o" the part prod$ction in4ho$se in a 'ertical integration that see#ed a (etter path "or the era. Henry Ford %as )9 years old %hen he "o$nded the Ford Motor Co#pany, %hich %o$ld go on to (eco#e one o" the %orld!s largest and #ost pro"ita(le co#panies, as %ell as (eing one to s$r'i'e the 0reat .epression. As one o" the largest "a#ily4controlled co#panies in the %orld, the Ford Motor Co#pany has (een in contin$o$s "a#ily control "or o'er 100 years. A"ter the "irst #odern a$to#o(ile %as already created in the year 1,,5 (y 0er#an in'entor Carl 6en7 (6en7 8atent4Motor%agen , #ore e""icient prod$ction #ethods %ere needed to #ake the a$to#o(ile a""orda(le "or the #iddle4class3 %hich Ford contri($ted to, "or instance (y introd$cing the "irst #o'ing asse#(ly line in 191). 9n 190, Ford introd$ced the "irst engine %ith a re#o'a(le cylinder head, in the Model T. 9n 19)0, Ford introd$ced the Model A, the "irst car %ith sa"ety glass in the %indshield. Ford la$nched the "irst lo% priced :, engine po%ered car in 19)*.

Ford o""ered the Li"eg$ard sa"ety package "ro# 19;5, %hich incl$ded s$ch inno'ations as a standard deep4dish steering %heel, optional "ront, and, "or the "irst ti#e in a car, rear seat(elts, and an optional padded dash. Ford introd$ced child4proo" door locks into its prod$cts in 19;<, and in the sa#e year o""ered the "irst retracta(le hardtop on a #ass4prod$ced si24seater car. The Ford M$stang %as introd$ced in 195=. 9n 195; Ford introd$ced the seat (elt re#inder light. 1ith the 19,0s, Ford introd$ced se'eral highly s$ccess"$l 'ehicles aro$nd the %orld. .$ring the 19,0s, Ford (egan $sing the ad'ertising slogan, >Ha'e yo$ dri'en a Ford, lately?> to introd$ce ne% c$sto#ers to their (rand and #ake their 'ehicles appear #ore #odern. 9n 1990 and 199= respecti'ely, Ford also ac@$ired -ag$ar Cars and Aston Martin. .$ring the #id4 to late 1990s, Ford contin$ed to sell large n$#(ers o" 'ehicles, in a (oo#ing A#erican econo#y %ith a soaring stock #arket and lo% "$el prices. 1ith the da%n o" the ne% cent$ry, legacy healthcare costs, higher "$el prices, and a "altering econo#y led to "alling #arket shares, declining sales, and di#inished pro"it #argins. Most o" the corporate pro"its ca#e "ro# "inancing cons$#er a$to#o(ile loans thro$ghFord Motor Credit Co#pany.

21st century
6y *00;, (oth Ford and 0M!s corporate (onds had (een do%ngraded to /$nk stat$s, as a res$lt o" high A.S. health care costs "or an aging %ork"orce, soaring gasoline prices, eroding #arket share, and an o'er dependence on declining SA: sales. 8ro"it #argins decreased on large 'ehicles d$e to increased >incenti'es> (in the "or# o" re(ates or lo% interest "inancing to o""set declining de#and. 9n the latter hal" o" *00;, Chair#an 6ill Ford asked ne%ly appointed Ford A#ericas .i'ision 8resident Mark Fields to de'elop a plan to ret$rn the co#pany to pro"ita(ility. Fields pre'ie%ed the 8lan, na#ed The Way Forward, at the .ece#(er <, *00; (oard #eeting o" the co#pany and it %as $n'eiled to the p$(lic on -an$ary *), *005. >The 1ay For%ard> incl$ded resi7ing the co#pany to #atch #arket realities, dropping so#e $npro"ita(le and ine""icient #odels, consolidating prod$ction lines, closing 1= "actories and c$tting )0,000 /o(s. Ford #o'ed to introd$ce a range o" ne% 'ehicles, incl$ding >Crosso'er SA:s> ($ilt on $ni(ody car plat"or#s, rather than #ore (ody4on4"ra#echassis. 9n de'eloping the hy(rid electric po%ertrain technologies "or the Ford Bscape Hy(rid SA:, Ford licensed si#ilar Toyota hy(rid technologies to a'oid patent in"ringe#ents. Ford anno$nced that it %ill tea# $p %ith electricity s$pply co#pany So$thern Cali"ornia Bdison (SCB to e2a#ine the "$t$re o" pl$g4in hy(rids in ter#s o" ho% ho#e and 'ehicle energy syste#s %ill %ork %ith the electrical grid. Ander the #$lti4#illion4dollar, #$lti4year pro/ect, Ford %ill con'ert a de#onstration "leet o" Ford Bscape Hy(rids into pl$g4in hy(rids, and SCB %ill e'al$ate ho% the 'ehicles #ight interact %ith the ho#e and the $tility!s electrical grid. So#e o" the 'ehicles %ill (e e'al$ated >in typical c$sto#er settings>, according to Ford. 1illia# Clay Ford -r., great4grandson o" Henry Ford (and (etter kno%n (y his nickna#e >6ill> , %as appointed B2ec$ti'e Chair#an in 199,, and also (eca#e Chie" B2ec$ti'e C""icer o" the co#pany in *001, %ith the depart$re o" -ac@$es &asser, (eco#ing the "irst #e#(er o" the Ford "a#ily to head the co#pany since the retire#ent o" his $ncle, Henry Ford 99, in 19,*. Apon the retire#ent o" 8resident and Chie" Cperation C""icer -i# 8adilla in April *005, 6ill Ford ass$#ed his roles as %ell. Fi'e #onths later, in Septe#(er, Ford na#ed Alan M$lally as 8resident and CBC, %ith Ford contin$ing as B2ec$ti'e Chair#an. 9n .ece#(er *005, the co#pany raised its (orro%ing capacity to a(o$t +*; (illion, placing s$(stantially all corporate assets as collateral. Chair#an 6ill Ford has stated that >(ankr$ptcy is not an option>. Ford and the Anited A$to 1orkers, representing appro2i#ately =5,000 ho$rly %orkers in &orth

A#erica, agreed to a historic contract settle#ent in &o'e#(er *00< gi'ing the co#pany a s$(stantial (reak in ter#s o" its ongoing retiree health care costs and other econo#ic iss$es. The agree#ent incl$ded the esta(lish#ent o" a co#pany4"$nded, independently r$n :ol$ntary B#ployee 6ene"iciary Association (:B6A tr$st to shi"t the ($rden o" retiree health care "ro# the co#pany!s (ooks, there(y i#pro'ing its (alance sheet. This arrange#ent took e""ect on -an$ary 1, *010. As a sign o" its c$rrently strong cash position, Ford contri($ted its entire c$rrent lia(ility (esti#ated at appro2i#ately AS+;.; (illion as o" .ece#(er )1, *009 to the :B6A in cash, and also pre4 paid AS+;00 #illion o" its "$t$re lia(ilities to the "$nd. The agree#ent also gi'es ho$rly %orkers the /o( sec$rity they %ere seeking (y ha'ing the co#pany co##it to s$(stantial in'est#ents in #ost o" its "actories. The a$to#aker reported the largest ann$al loss in co#pany history in *005 o" +1*.< (illion, and esti#ated that it %o$ld not ret$rn to pro"ita(ility $ntil *009. Ho%e'er, Ford s$rprised 1all Street in the second @$arter o" *00< (y posting a +<;0 #illion pro"it. .espite the gains, the co#pany "inished the year %ith a +*.< (illion loss, largely attri($ted to "inance restr$ct$ring at :ol'o. Cn -$ne *, *00,, Ford sold its -ag$ar and Land Do'er operations to Tata Motors "or +*.) (illion. .$ring Congressional hearings held in &o'e#(er *00, at 1ashington ..C., and in a sho% o" s$pport, Ford!s Alan M$lally stated that >1e at Ford are hope"$l that %e ha'e eno$gh li@$idity. 6$t %e also #$st prepare o$rsel'es "or the prospect o" "$rther deteriorating econo#ic conditions>. M$lally %ent on to state that >The collapse o" one o" o$r co#petitors %o$ld ha'e a se'ere i#pact on Ford> and that Ford Motor Co#pany!s s$pports (oth Chrysler and 0eneral Motors in their search "or go'ern#ent (ridge loans in the "ace o" conditions ca$sed (y the *00, "inancial crisis. Together, the three co#panies presented action plans "or the s$staina(ility o" the ind$stry. M$lally stated that >9n addition to o$r plan, %e are also here today to re@$est s$pport "or the ind$stry. 9n the near4ter#, Ford does not re@$ire access to a go'ern#ent (ridge loan. Ho%e'er, %e re@$est a credit line o" +9 (illion as a critical (ackstop or sa"eg$ard against %orsening conditions as %e dri'e trans"or#ational change in o$r co#pany> 0M and Chrysler recei'ed go'ern#ent loans and "inancing thro$gh T.A.D.8. legislation "$nding pro'isions. Cn .ece#(er 19, the cost o" credit de"a$lt s%aps to ins$re the de(t o" Ford %as 5, percent the s$# ins$red "or "i'e years in addition to ann$al pay#ents o" ; percent. That #eant +5., #illion paid $p"ront to ins$re +10 #illion in de(t, in addition to pay#ents o" +;00,000 per year. 9n -an$ary *009, Ford reported a +1=.5 (illion loss in the preceding year, a record "or the co#pany. The co#pany retained s$""icient li@$idity to "$nd its operations. Thro$gh April *009, Ford!s strategy o" de(t "or e@$ity e2changes erased +9.9 (illion in lia(ilities (*,E o" its total in order to le'erage its cash position. These actions yielded Ford a +*.< (illion pro"it in "iscal year *009, the co#pany!s "irst "$ll4year pro"it in "o$r years. 9n *01*, Ford!s corporate (onds %ere $pgraded "ro# /$nk to in'est#ent grade again, citing s$staina(le, lasting i#pro'e#ents. Cn Ccto(er *9, *01*, Ford anno$nced the sale o" its cli#ate control co#ponents ($siness, its last re#aining a$to#oti'e co#ponents operation, to .etroit Ther#al Syste#s LLC "or an $ndisclosed price. Cn &o'e#(er 1, *01*, Ford anno$nced that CBC Alan M$lally %ill stay %ith the co#pany $ntil *01=. Ford also na#ed Mark Fields, the president o" operations in A#ericas, as its ne% chie" operating o""icer Ford!s CBC M$lally %as paid a co#pensation o" o'er AS+1<= #illion in his pre'io$s se'en years at Ford since *005. The genero$s a#o$nt has (een a sore point "or so#e %orkers o" the co#pany.

Logo evolution

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1909

191*

191* 'ariant

19*<

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