20 Facts About Ford – 2024 Statistics
Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.
It’s easy to take for granted all the technology that surrounds us. However, many everyday items, such as frozen food, computers, and the washing machine, sprung from the imagination of great minds. Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company are outstanding examples of how ideas can become life-changing moments. One of Ford’s greatest achievements ever transcends the automobile.
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The 20 Ford Facts
- Henry Ford’s first vehicle wasn’t a car.
- What began as an employer-employee relationship turned into a lifelong friendship between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.
- The Ford Motor Company began with 12 investors and $28,000.
- The Ford Motor Company’s First Automobile Sold for $850 in 1903.
- The Model A was the Ford Motor Company’s first car.
- The 1927 Model A featured its first use of a scripted typeface for its oval-shaped logo.
- Ford Motor Company paid its employees well for the day.
- Ford Motor Company’s first venture across the pond was its Paris sales branch in 1908.
- Ford’s innovative moving assembly line cut down production time by nearly 90%.
- The Ford Motor Company rallied to support the United States and its Allies during World War I and II.
- The Ford Thunderbird debuted in 1955.
- The Ford Mustang hit the road in 1964.
- Henry Ford was an avid collector.
- Henry Ford made his mark in the racing world over 120 years ago.
- Ford’s racing prowess continued in the 1966 Le Mans.
- The Ford Motor Company introduced crash testing in 1955.
- Ford-Philco was instrumental to NASA’s Apollo and Gemini space programs.
- The Ford F-Series trucks have been America’s best-selling vehicle for nearly 40 years.
- Ford was an early pioneer of electric vehicles with its 1998 Ranger EV.
- The Ford Motor Company remains a family-owned company.
The Early Beginnings of a Visionary
1. Henry Ford’s first vehicle wasn’t a car.
Henry Ford liked to tinker and figure out how things worked. That thinking led to his first attempt at transportation, the Quadricycle, built in 1896. It was essentially a four-wheel, motor-powered bicycle. It operated on only two gears and did not have a reverse. However, it had potential and would lead him down the path to changing the world.
2. What began as an employer-employee relationship turned into a lifelong friendship between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.
Great minds think alike. It’s fitting that a visionary like Henry Ford should cross paths with another one, such as Thomas Edison. The latter began as Ford’s boss. The two became fast friends. They kept company with some other famous people, like President Warren G. Harding and another innovator of the day, Harvey Firestone.
3. The Ford Motor Company began with 12 investors and $28,000.
(Ford.com, CPI Inflation Calculator)
It’s helpful to put this information into context to appreciate what a gamble this investment was at the time. It was the equivalent of $884,380 in today’s money. Each one ponied up nearly $74,000 of their own money to follow Henry Ford’s vision.
4. The Ford Motor Company’s First Automobile Sold for $850 in 1903.
(CPI Inflation Calculator, Workers of the Nation; An Encyclopedia of the Occupations)
The company’s first Model A sold for the equivalent of today’s $26,847. To put it in the contemporary context, the average farmer was making $750 a year. Automobiles weren’t affordable for most families and were something only the wealthy could buy.
5. The Model A was the Ford Motor Company’s first car.
Henry Ford began logically enough by calling his first car the Model A. It has an eight-horsepower powerhouse that could reach blazing speeds of up to 30 mph. That’s about the same as a horse with a rider. However, many animals pulled a cart or wagon back then. Their speed would be considerably lower. That’s one thing that made the automobile so desirable.
6. The 1927 Model A featured its first use of a scripted typeface for its oval-shaped logo.
The Ford Motor Company tweaked its logo a lot before finally settling in on the familiar blue oval we know today. The name began with block letters before taking on its signature script. The latter came on board in 1909. It was cutting edge at the time. Remember that a logo makes a profound statement about a brand. In this case, blue signifies trust and honesty.
7. Ford Motor Company paid its employees well for the day.
(CPI Inflation Calculator)
Henry Ford’s innovations are legendary. However, he was also ahead of his time when it came to how he treated his employees. Ford was famous for his $5 a day wages, twice what other workers might earn. That $5 is equivalent to nearly $158 today. He also advocated for the five-day workweek and signed the first-ever UAW-CIO contract in 1941.
8. Ford Motor Company’s first venture across the pond was its Paris sales branch in 1908.
Henry Ford looked beyond the American market, looking across the pond to Europe early in its inception. It would become a vital factor in the war-torn years ahead.
9. Ford’s innovative moving assembly line cut down production time by nearly 90%.
(“My Life and Work,” by Henry Ford)
Henry Ford realized early on that he would need to improve the speed of production to give his company room to grow. That thinking led to the invention of the moving assembly line, which revolutionized not only the auto industry but all manufacturing. The concept was simple to Ford when he posited, “…we began taking the work to the men instead of the men to the work.”
10. The Ford Motor Company rallied to support the United States and its Allies during World War I and II.
Ford was a staunch supporter of the United States and its allies during World War I and II. His company supplied much-needed engines, tanks, and vehicles to the troops on the frontlines. It began Jeep production in 1941 and diverted its operations to support the war efforts.
11. The Ford Thunderbird debuted in 1955.
The Ford Motor Company produced several iconic cars that defined its image globally. One of the most exciting was the 1955 debut of the Thunderbird, or T-bird as it’s affectionately called. It was Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet Corvette, although Ford referred to it as a “personal car.” Interestingly, the public opted for the T-bird over the Vette the year the pedal hit the metal.
12. The Ford Mustang hit the road in 1964.
Another model that captured the hearts of American sport car lovers was the 1964 Ford Mustang. There was a lot of buzz leading up to its release. It didn’t disappoint. The company defined performance and has looked back since.
A Lasting Legacy
13. Henry Ford was an avid collector.
(The Henry Ford Museum)
The Henry Ford Museum owes its existence to a hobby that was its namesake years after his company released its first car. Ford’s collections have a prominent place in the facility. He also got involved in restorations, including his birthplace. Ironically, a road improvement put the house in its sights.
14. Henry Ford made his mark in the racing world over 120 years ago.
Henry Ford’s passion for racing took hold early in his career. It culminated with his 1901 victory over racer and inventor Alexander Winton. Even though Winton’s car outpowered Ford’s, he still managed to pull off the win. He went on to capture the land speed record in 1904 with his car, 999.
15. Ford’s racing prowess continued in the 1966 Le Mans.
The 1901 victory was only the first Ford, and his sports cars would earn in the company’s history. The Ford GT40 made history with its four wins of the grueling 24-Hour Le Mans in the 1960s. This achievement stands to this day. It’s a racing legacy that it shares with the iconic Ford Mustang. Today, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is the epitome of racing vehicles.
16. The Ford Motor Company introduced crash testing in 1955.
It’s hard to believe there was a time when manufacturers didn’t do crash testing on their vehicles. That all changed in 1955 when Ford took the lead to gauge the safety of their cars. It wasn’t the first time that the manufacturer took the lead. It was also the first company to make safety glass a standard feature.
17. Ford-Philco was instrumental to NASA’s Apollo and Gemini space programs.
The Ford Motor Company had other interests, including a stint owning electronics manufacturer Philco. NASA worked with the company to build the Mission Operations Control Rooms for several high-profile projects, such as the ground-breaking Apollo program.
18. The Ford F-Series trucks have been America’s best-selling vehicle for nearly 40 years.
(Car and Driver)
Ford hit on a winner when it developed the F-Series trucks in 1948. The 2021 model marks its 14th generation. Its reign as the best-selling vehicle in America started in 1982 and shows no signs of slowing. It’s a fitting legacy of the 1917 Model TT truck.
19. Ford was an early pioneer of electric vehicles with its 1998 Ranger EV.
That same spirit of innovation that Henry Ford embraced still exists with the company. That was evident with the 1998 release of the electric 1998 Ranger EV. The manufacturer swapped out the standard I4 engine and replaced it with an electric vehicle powertrain. Its run was short-lived but still speaks to Ford’s cutting-edge technology.
20. The Ford Motor Company remains a family-owned company.
The Ford Motor Company went public in 1956. However, the family’s presence is very much alive in the manufacturer today. Even though the family only owns 2%, it has a super-voter status that gives it a significant say in the day-to-day operations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ford
What Is the Ford Motor Company’s Net Worth?
Diversification and innovation have benefited the Ford Motor Company to the tune of $97.67 billion.
Is the Ford Motor Company a Worthwhile Investment?
Investments always have risks. However, the long-term outlook for the Ford Motor Company looks favorable, according to industry experts. Its success depends on its ability to respond to current events and trends.
What Is the Future of Ford Motor Company?
Ford Motor Company has always kept a step ahead of the trends. It’s no different today than it was in its beginning. The future means EV, autonomous vehicles, and collaboration with other innovators. It’s the most important of all the Ford facts we’ve listed. Look for advances in sustainability, robotics, and smart technology.
Henry Ford had a vision that he made happen by perseverance, innovation, and thinking outside of the box. While it is a global entity, the Ford Motor Company is all-American. Therein lies its strength and its key to a long-lasting future. Time doesn’t stand still with this manufacturer. Its catchphrase of Ford Tough has never been truer.
Featured Image Credit: Pavel Anoshin, Unsplash