Top 5 interesting facts and figures about Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company needs no introduction. The American automaker has been around for over 116 years, creating some of the most iconic cars, beating the indispensable Ferrari at Le Mans, and even building airplanes and armored vehicles during the World War 1 and 2. Here, we take a look at some of the most interesting facts about this legendary brand.
The history of Ford
Ford was established in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan by 12 people, including Henry Ford and his son Edsel. Initially, Henry held a 25.5% stake but in 1919, he and his son bought out all the other owners, making Ford Motor Company a family business. Currently, the company sells under Ford and Lincoln brands and owns major or minority stakes in several other automotive companies.
From the Quadricycle to the Model T
While working under Thomas Edison at the Edison Illuminating Company, Henry developed interest in gasoline-powered vehicles and in 1896, he built a quadricycle using 4 bicycle wheels, a tiller, a gas-powered 4-horsepower engine, and a gearbox. Building upon this model, Ford launched the Model T in the early 1900s for $260. As of today, over 16 million Model Ts have been sold.
The inventor of the moving assembly line
Henry Ford is also credited as the brains behind a moving assembly line. The innovation changed the way factories were organized, allowing for a major improvement in productivity. His idea reduced the production time for a car from over 700 minutes to around 90 minutes.
Ford's racing pedigree
Coming to its performance, Ford has beaten the likes of Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the oldest sports car race in the world. In 1966, when Ford entered the race with its GT40, it won the title to end Ferrari's six-year win streak. Notably, Ford went on to win the coveted championship for four consecutive years.
Ford: From cars to bombers and armored vehicles
Henry Ford had a love for all things mechanical, and holds a record 161 patents under his name. During World War I, Ford started making airplanes for the US and manufactured thousands of Ford Model Ts that were used as ambulances, delivery trucks, and artillery transportation vehicles. Even in World War 2, it made B-24 Liberator bombers, over 86,000 aircraft and 57,000 airplane engines.