Ford And Harley-davidson: Two American Legends Since 1903
Two legends of the American road, Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, are both celebrating their 100th Anniversary in 2003. Both enjoy leadership positions in pickup trucks and heavyweight motorcycles respectively, and both companies are proud of their rich heritage and contributions to American motoring.
In 1999, Ford and Harley-Davidson forged an alliance to celebrate their corporate heritage and their common centennials.
"The past three years have been a tremendous success – our partnership has generated great products and events that appeal to both Ford and Harley enthusiasts," said Steve Lyons, Ford Division president. "We are excited about what the alliance will bring in the future."
The alliance between Ford and Harley-Davidson Motor Company was announced in 1999 during the famed Daytona Beach Bike Week festivities.
"There is a natural synergy and benefit to our loyal customer base," said Jeff Bleustein, Harley-Davidson chairman and chief executive officer. "We each bring value to this strategic alliance."
In August 1999, the two companies used the scenic backdrop of the Sturgis Rally & Races in Sturgis, S.D. to introduce the first product of their historic partnership – Ford’s limited-edition Harley-Davidson™ F-150 pickup truck. Also in Sturgis, in 2000, the companies revealed the second product in the line-up, the 2001 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 SuperCrew. In November 2001, the all-new 2002 Supercharged Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 SuperCrew was introduced at the eighteenth annual Love Ride in Glendale, Calif.
"This truck combines the quality and durability of the F-150 and the F-Series line – America’s best-selling vehicle, car or truck, for the past 20 years – with the popularity and appeal of the Harley-Davidson brand name," Lyons said. "Since its introduction, this truck has received a tremendous response from Harley-Davidson enthusiasts and truck owners alike."
"Harley-Davidson and Ford are leaders in our respective industries," Bleustein added. "The power of Harley-Davidson or Ford alone is very strong. The power of our two brands together creates a number of exciting opportunities for us and for our customers," he said.
Detroit and Milwaukee: Putting the World on Wheels
The legends of two great American companies were born at the same time at the turn of the century through the hard work and dedication of their visionary namesakes.
From humble beginnings in a small garage in Detroit, Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 and sold its first Model A.
In 1913, Ford developed the world’s first moving assembly line in Highland Park, Mich., realizing Henry Ford's dream of affordable personal transportation. Mass production meant higher volume and lower prices. A 1913 Ford Model T Roadster cost $525, compared to $850 for the 1903 Model A.
Also in 1903, the founding namesakes of Harley-Davidson toiled away across Lake Michigan in a 10x15-foot shed in the Milwaukee, Wis. family backyard of William, Walter and Arthur Davidson. Joined by William S. Harley, with hard work, ingenuity and the common goal of "taking the work out of bicycling," the four men crafted their first motorcycle. Through the subsequent decades came two world wars, a crippling economic depression, a tide of foreign competition, government regulations and the ever-changing tastes of consumers. But through it all, each company survived and thrived, today standing as two
of the most respected and recognizable companies in the world.