Essay about The History of the Ford Motor Company

Essay about The History of the Ford Motor Company

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Like most great enterprises, Ford's beginnings were modest. The company had anxious moments in its infancy, balancing precariously on the brink of bankruptcy until cash inflows from sales began. The earliest record of a shipment is July 20, 1903, approximately one month after incorporation, to a Detroit physician. With the company's first sales, came a ray of hope. A worried group of stockholders, skeptically eyeing a bank balance that had dwindled to $223.65, breathed easier, and a young Ford Motor Company had taken its first step. During the next five years, young Henry Ford, as chief engineer and later as president, directed a development and production program which started in a converted wagon shop on Mack Avenue in Detroit and later moved to a larger building at Piquette and Beaubien Streets In the Ford Motor Company's first 15 months, 1,700 Model A cars chugged out of the old wagon shop. Between 1903 and 1908, Henry Ford and his engineers used the first 19 letters of the alphabet to designate their creations, beginning in 1903 with the first Model A. Several of the car models were experimental only and never reached the public. Of the eight early models produced, the most successful was the Model N -- a small, light, four-cylinder machine which went on the market at $500. A $2,500 six-cylinder luxury car, the Model K, sold poorly. The Model K's failure, along with Mr. Ford's insistence that the company's future lay in the production of inexpensive cars for a mass market, caused increasing friction between Mr. Ford and Alexander Malcomson, a Detroit coal dealer who had been instrumental in purchasing equipment and raising the original $28,000 of cash for working capital. As a result, Mr. Malcomson left the company and Mr. Ford acquired enough of Malcomson's stock to increase his own holdings to 58-1/2 percent. Mr. Ford became president in 1906, replacing John S. Gray, a Detroit banker who had served as the company's first president. Squabbles among the stockholders did not threaten the young company's future as seriously as did a man named George Selden. Mr. Selden had a patent on "road locomotives" powered by internal combustion engines. T o protect his patent, he formed a powerful syndicate to license selected manufacturers and collect royalties for every "horseless carriage" built or sold in America, attempting to monopolize the...


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...ommitment to bring the entire Ford global organization into a single operation by the year 2000. Ford 2000 created a single, global management team. This has allowed the company to eliminate duplication, initiate best practices, use common components and designs for the advantage of scale, and allocate resources to wherever they are needed to best serve market needs. Ford 2000 combines the power, resources, and reach of a world company with the immediacy, the intimacy, the agility, and the spirit of a small one. This was accomplished with the creation of five vehicle centers. Ford 2000's strength is that it fully utilizes the company's depth of human diversity. Ford believes that diversity will be the engine that drives the creative energy of the corporation of the 21st century. Successful companies will be those who are able to draw on this diversity, to stay on the innovative and competitive edge of their fields. So the company that started this century with a single man envisioning products that would service more people is ending the century with a global organization that retains and expands Ford's heritage of serving people, inside and outside of the Ford global community.

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