FORD MOTOR COMPANY MILESTONES
1900 – 1909
June 4, 1896. Henry Ford drives his first vehicle, the Quadricycle -- a buggy frame mounted on four bicycle-type wheels -- on the streets of Detroit.
RACE OF THE CENTURY
Oct. 10, 1901. Henry Ford wins a race against the auto-racing champion of the day, Alexander Winton. His win gave him the credibility to obtain the financial backing to start Ford Motor Company less than two years later.
Jan. 15, 1903. The first Ford dealership (William Hughson Co. Inc.) opens in San Francisco, CA
June 16, 1903. Henry Ford and 11 original investors sign incorporation papers. It was the third attempt by Henry Ford to start an automobile manufacturing business.
EXPANSION WITHIN NORTH AMERICA
Aug.17, 1904. Ford of Canada was incorporated; on June 23, 1925, Ford of Mexico was established.
Oct. 1, 1908. Ford introduces the Model T. More than 15 million Model T's were produced between 1908 and 1927, when the company stopped production.
EXPANSION OF SALES BRANCHES
Oct.1, 1908. The company's first overseas sales branch opens in Paris, France. In December 1913, Ford opened sales branches in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.
THE SELDEN SYNDICATE
Jan. 9, 1911. After complicated court proceedings, Henry Ford wins the lawsuit against the Selden Syndicate. This win freed Ford Motor Company and all other auto manufacturers from paying royalties on internal combustion engines.
EXPANSION IN EUROPE
1911. Ford's first factory outside of North America opens in Manchester, England.
June 25, 1919 Ford Motor Company established offices and assembly plants in Denmark and later in Germany (August 18, 1925)
MOVING AUTOMOTIVE ASSEMBLY LINE
Oct. 7, 1913. The moving automotive assembly line is born. The first final assembly line was installed at Highland Park and immediately made assembly almost eight times faster. Eventually, Model T's were rolling off the line every 10 seconds of each working day.
$5 WORK DAY
Jan. 5, 1914. Henry Ford announces that the minimum wage would be $5 a day (more than double the existing rate) for an eight-hour day (replacing the $2.34 wage for a nine-hour day).
FIRST FORD TRUCK
July 27, 1917. Ford introduces it first truck, Model TT.
Jan. 4, 1918. Construction begins on the massive automotive manufacturing complex. The Rouge plant made manufacturing history with its scale, degree of integration and innovative processes. The facility allowed for the complete production of vehicles from raw materials processing to final assembly.
Jan. 1, 1919. Edsel Ford succeeds Henry Ford as company president.
FORD PURCHASED LINCOLN
Feb. 4, 1922. Ford purchases the Lincoln brand.
EXPANSION IN ASIA-PACIFIC
Feb. 17, 1925. Ford Japan is formed.
THE FORD TRI-MOTOR
Oct. 8, 1925. Ford builds the first of 196 Ford Tri-Motor Airplanes, which is later used by America's first commercial airlines.
Oct. 27, 1927. Ford begins producing the Model A at the Rouge complex.
THE START OF MARKET-SPECIFIC DESIGN
Feb. 19, 1932. Ford launches its first car designed specifically for Europe, the Model Y, starting in England.
March 9, 1932. Ford is the first company in history to successfully cast a V-8 block in one piece.
June 12, 1933. Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (formerly the Edison Institute) opens to the public.
ARSENAL OF DEMOCRACY
Feb. 28, 1941. Edsel Ford drives the first Ford World War II vehicle off the line at the Rouge Complex. Ford builds the first general-purpose vehicle (jeep) for military use in March 1941. And, on Feb.1, 1942, the company halts production of civilian vehicles to dedicate itself to the war effort.
FIRST FORD/UAW LABOR AGREEMENT
June 20, 1941. Ford Motor Company signs its first closed, labor agreement with UAW-CIO covering employees in North America.
HENRY FORD RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT
May 26, 1943. Edsel Ford dies at age 49, and on June 1, 1943, Henry Ford is re-elected Ford Motor Company president.
HENRY FORD II NAMED PRESIDENT
Sept. 21, 1945. Henry Ford II is named Ford Motor Company president.
THE WHIZ KIDS
In 1946, Henry Ford II hires 10 young former U.S. Air Force officers, nicknamed the Whiz Kids, who bring the principles of modern management to the company.
Jan. 16, 1948. Ford builds the first F-Series pickup truck, the most successful vehicle line in automotive history.
April 26, 1948. Ford's first new car model design, after WWII, goes into production.
Oct. 22, 1954. Ford Motor Company introduces the Thunderbird.
Nov. 28, 1954. Ford conducts its first crash test.
FORD GOES PUBLIC
Jan. 17, 1956. First shares of Ford Motor Company common stock are sold.
FORD CREDIT FORMED
Aug. 20, 1959. Ford Motor Credit Company is formed.
FORD PARTS DIVISION FORMED
April 18, 1961. Ford Parts Division is formed (Motorcraft).
GT40 MARK II INTRODUCED
April 1964. The GT40 Mark II is introduced and goes on to take the top three places in Le Mans in 1966 and breaks almost every established track record at the Daytona 2000-kilometer race.
FORD MUSTANG INTRODUCED
April 17, 1964. The Ford Mustang is introduced, and 1 million units are sold by 1966, just two years after its introduction.
FORD OF EUROPE ESTABLISHED
June 14, 1967. Ford of Europe is established to coordinate the development, manufacturing and sale of cars and trucks in Europe and Africa.
ASIA-PACIFIC OPERATIONS ESTABLISHED
Aug.17, 1970. Asia-Pacific Auto operations formed.
Jan. 1, 1976. The retractable safety belt restraint system, a new industry standard, is placed in the Mercury Bobcat.
Jan. 1, 1979. Ford acquires a 25 percent equity stake in Mazda.
Feb. 13, 1982. Ford and UAW reach an historic agreement encompassing innovative labor-management concepts.
TAURUS AND SABLE DEBUTS
Dec. 26, 1985. Taurus and Sable are introduced. Taurus reigned as the best-selling car in the United States from 1992 to 1996.
Sept. 7, 1987. Ford Motor Company acquires majority interest in Aston Martin Logonda, Ltd., the famous British maker of prestigious automobiles.
Dec. 30, 1987. Ford acquires a stake in Hertz Rental Car Company, and in 1994, Ford makes Hertz a wholly owned subsidiary.
Dec. 1, 1989. Ford acquires Jaguar for $2.5 billion.
June 1, 1993. Ford is first automaker to have dual air bags as standard equipment in most cars.
Feb. 28, 1994. Ford China Operations formed.
Dec. 8, 1996. Ford becomes first and only auto company to certify all of its plants (140 plants in 26 countries) under ISO 14001, the world environmental standard.
BILL FORD BECOMES CHAIRMAN
Jan. 1, 1999. Bill Ford becomes chairman of Ford Motor Company. In October 2001, he adds the role of Chief Executive Officer.
Jan. 1, 1999. Ford announces its intention to acquire 51 percent interest in Norway's PIVCO Industries, maker of the TH!NK two-seat electric city car.
Jan. 28, 1999. Ford Motor Company buys Volvo for $6.45 billion.
May 17, 1999. Ford announces that all pickup trucks will be low emission vehicles, starting with F-series trucks in model year 2000 and adding Ranger for the 2001 model year, with the large majority preceding any U.S. emissions requirements by years.
CAR OF THE YEAR
Jan. 10, 2000. Ford Focus is the first vehicle to receive both 'North American Car of the Year' and 'European Car of the Year' awards.
June 30, 2000. Ford Motor Company officially takes ownership of Land Rover from the BMW Group.
Nov. 14, 2000. Ford begins redevelopment of the entire Ford Rouge Center, which will include a new vehicle assembly plan as the centerpiece of the nation's largest industrial redevelopment project.
Nov. 21, 2001. Ford Thunderbird is named Motor Trend's Car of the Year for an unprecedented fourth time.
Jan. 6, 2002. Ford Motor Company CEO Bill Ford unveils GT40 concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Several weeks later the company announces the GT40 concept will go into production as part of its 100th anniversary plans in 2003.
June 16, 2003. Ford Motor Company celebrates its 100th anniversary.