Ford Motor Company
Officially founded on June 16, 1903, by the inventor of the automobile, Ford Motor Company has remained one of the leading worldwide auto producers and a staple in the city of Detroit. Although technically based in Dearborn, the original plant has its roots in Detroit and the name Henry Ford is a household name within the city. The company is well known for its mass production by moving assembly lines. The methods became known as Fordism by 1914.
The 1903 launch of the company was started with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, one of which was Horace Dodge who would go on to found the Dodge Motor Company. What began as a small company that produced just a few cars a day on Mack Avenue in Detroit became one of the world’s largest and most profitable companies. The Ford Motor Company survived the great depression and has been family owned continuously for over 100 years.
Recent developments within the Ford Motor Company include selling large numbers of vehicles during a period of booming American economy, soaring stock market, and low fuel prices. The turn of the century brought higher fuel prices and a faltering economy which led to declining sales and sliding profit margins. Sales of fuel guzzling SUVs dropped and profit margins further decreased due to incentives in the form of rebates to offset declining demand.
After the SUV debacle, ford began marketing a new range of vehicles such as crossover SUVs as well as hybrid electric powertrain technology for the Ford Escape Hybrid. The multi-million dollar project hopes to allow the cars to interact with electrical grids. Experts say that electric cars will be the future of the automobile industry without a doubt. The 2005 plan titled ‘The Way Forward’ involved dropping unprofitable and inefficient models, consolidating production lines, shutting down 14 factories, and cutting 30,000 jobs.
November 2008 brought the major Michigan auto companies together for Congressional hearings concerning financial aid. The automotive industry crisis led the companies to sustain the industry. The companies were unable to receive government aid, but GM and Chrysler gained monetary assistance from the T.A.R.P. funding provisions of the Executive Branch. 2008 ended up with Ford announcing a $14.6 billion dollar loss, but still with enough liquidity to fund its business plans. All of the Detroit auto companies are still in dire straits and will find out soon if the answer is bankruptcy or corporate bailout.
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