Ford was founded in 1903 as a joint venture between Henry Ford, John and Horace Dodge (who would later go on to start Dodge) and nine other investors with a combined $28,000 in cash. A converted factory was used to produce the first vehicles and only a few cars a day were produced in the beginning.

By 1908, Henry Ford had realized his dream of producing a vehicle that was priced within reach of the common man. The Model T would go on to become one of the most popular cars in the world. There was such a huge demand for the vehicle that the company opened a new larger factory in Highland Park, MI. Total production of the Model T would exceed 15 million before it was retired in 1927.

It was at this new factory that the idea of a moving assembly line was first introduced. Parts would be delivered to workers at each station and that worker would be responsible for adding one component to the vehicle that would then move on to the next station. This revolutionary new concept reduced assembly time per vehicle subsequently lowering the costs of production. The popularity and affordability of the Model T helped Ford become the largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

During the 1910's and 1920's Ford went to work on developing his latest vision. Along the backs of the Rouge River in Dearborn Michigan construction began on a industrial complex that could mass produce all the components necessary to completely assemble an automobile, from raw materials all the way through to the finished product.

Ford was one of the few automobile companies to survive the great depression and is still one of the largest family controlled companies in the world. As a matter fact, Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 100 years and two members of the Ford family sit on the board today, William Clay Ford and his son William Clay Ford Jr.
In 2007, ford fell from the second ranked automaker to third in United States sales for the first time in 56 years. This places them behind General Motors who occupies the second spot and Toyota who is currently number one.

It remains to be seen if Ford Motor Company will survive the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, however if it has retained any of the vision of its founder then surely this greatest of American car manufacturers will find away to endure.
About the Author
Ronnie Tanner is a contributing writer at SWEngines. He writes about
used Ford engines and choosing this as an alternative to costly car purchases.

Ford Aerostar                               Ford Sport Trac 
Ford Aspire                                  Ford F-150 
Ford Bronco                                 Ford F-250 
Ford Contour                                Ford F-350 
Ford Crown Victoria                    Ford Five Hundred 
Ford E-150                                   Ford Focus 
Ford E-150 Econoline                 Ford Freestar 
Ford E-250                                   Ford Freestyle 
Ford E-250 Econoline                 Ford Fusion 
Ford E-350                                   Ford GT 
Ford E-350 Econoline                 Ford Mustang 
Ford Escape                                 Ford Probe 
Ford Escort                                   Ford Ranger 
Ford Excursion                              Ford Taurus 
Ford Expedition                            Ford Thunderbird 
Ford Explorer                                Ford Windstar 
Ford Explorer Sport                      Ford ZX2 

2005 - 2007
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The Legacy of Ford Motor Company
by Ronnie Tanner
The massive complex included a steel mill, glass factor and an automobile assembly line. Iron ore was brought in from the great lakes and forges and foundries transformed the raw iron ore to finished steel and then into everything needed to produce a vehicle from springs and axles to engine blocks and cylinder heads. By the fall of 1927, all steps in the manufacturing process from refining raw materials to final assembly took place at the massive plant. It was the world's largest industrial complex at the time and characterized Henry Ford's original ideas of mass production.