The Ford Motor Company was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Ford rolled out the Model T or “Tin Lizzie” in 1908. Its popularity was so overwhelming, that in order to meet the demand, Ford introduced new revolutionary mass-production methods. It included large production plants, and the use of standardized, interchangeable parts. Then in 1913, Henry Ford initiated the world’s first moving assembly line for cars, and the automobile industry has never looked back.
In 1927, with the production of the last Model T, came the first new Model A. In the early 1920’s Ford purchased the Lincoln Motor Company, which would enable them to expand into the luxury car market. They went on to produce a very affordable V8 motor, and then, in 1938 they produced the first Mercury which would compete in the mid-price range.
The introduction of the legendary Thunderbird with features like, a signal seeking radio and power windows, came in the 1950’s. Next came the Edsel. It was not well received, so its production only lasted for a short couple of years. Then in the mid 1960’s came the iconic Mustang. That pony car created a new vehicle category, and remains one of the biggest sellers of all time.
In 1979, Ford obtained a substantial stake in Mazda. By the mid-to-late '80s, Ford further expanded with the purchase of the Aston Martin and Jaguar. They also began to show new strength with the popularity of the Escort and the Taurus. During this time, their full-size LTD sedan which later became known as the Crown Victoria, remained the vehicle of choice for both taxi companies and police forces throughout America.
In 1999, Ford expanded yet again with the purchase of Volvo's car division, then in 2000, it acquired Land Rover. For a short while, there was talk of Ford even taking General Motors' spot as the No. 1 automaker in the world.
More recently with the downturn in the economy, Ford cauterized the losses by selling off Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.
Known as one of the Big Three American manufacturers, Ford's F-Series truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America, for decades. Other popular models include the Explorer, Fusion, Fiesta, Focus, and Flex. Ford is the largest family-controlled company in the world, and has been in continuous family control for over 110 years.