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ford motor company chronology
Jun 17, 1903 Ford Motor Company organized, with John S. Gray as President and Henry Ford as Vice President. Stockholders are: Henry Ford, Alexander Malcomson, John W. Anderson, C.H. Bennett, James Couzens, Horace E. Dodge, John F. Dodge, Vernon C. Fry, John S. Gray, Horace H. Rackham, Albert Strelow and Charles J. Woodall
Also of interest:

For more information on Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company:

· History of the Rouge
· Henry Ford Biography
· Battle of the Overpass


Visit the "Heritage" section of Ford Motor Company's web site for more information


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Reproduction of Mack Ave. Plant in Greenfield Village

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Photograph taken at the
Battle of the Overpass.
Photo: P.O.4951

Arjay Miller, Feb 7, 1966.
Photo: P.833.132827.6

Jul 23, 1903 Company sells its first car, a two-cylinder Model A, assembled at Mack Avenue Plant in Detroit
Aug 17, 1904 FMC of Canada, LTD. incorporated near Windsor, Ontario
Dec 1904 Production begins at Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit
Oct 22, 1906 Henry Ford becomes President of Ford Motor Company
Oct 1, 1908 First Model T made available to the public. Continues until 1927
Jan 1, 1910 Manufacturing operations transferred to Highland Park, Michigan Plant
1911 First overseas plant established in Trafford Park, Manchester, England
Apr 1, 1913 First experiments with assembly line begin at Highland Park Plant. Early trials with assembly of components like magnetos and transmissions are followed by development of chassis assembly line in August 1913
Jan 12, 1914 $5 daily wage for 8-hour day replaces $2.34 for 9-hour day for male factory workers. Adopted for women workers in Oct 1916.
Dec 10, 1915 1 millionth Ford car produced
April 1, 1917 Construction begins on Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan
Jul 2, 1917 First Ford truck introduced, powered by Model T engine
Oct 1, 1917 Fordson tractor production begins. Only produced in North America until Feb 1928, but continues in Ireland
Jan 1, 1919 Edsel Ford succeeds his father, Henry Ford, as President. They become sole owners of the company by purchasing stock of the other shareholders
Feb 4, 1922 Ford Motor Company purchases Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million. Edsel Ford named President of Lincoln
Jan 15, 1926 Ford Airport dedicated in Dearborn
May 1, 1926 Five-day, 40-hour work week adopted for factory workers. Adopted for office workers on August 1, 1926
June 11, 1926 Ford Tri-Motor makes first flight from Ford Airport. Produced until 1933
May 26, 1927 Model T production ceases
Nov 1, 1927 Model A production begins. Continues until Feb 28, 1932
Mar 9, 1932 First Ford V8 en-block engine-equipped car built
May 26, 1937 "Battle of the Overpass" between UAW organizers and Ford representatives
Oct 8, 1938 Mercury production begins
Mar 1, 1941 First jeep produced at Rouge Plant
Jun 20, 21, 1941 Ford Motor Company signs its first closed-shop contract with UAW-CIO, covering 123,000 employees
Feb 10, 1942 World War II halts civilian car production
Nov 28, 1942 First complete bomber, (B-24), built at Willow Run. Production continues through June 28, 1945
May 26, 1943 Edsel Ford dies at the age of 49. Henry Ford re-elected President of the company
Jul 3, 1945 Ford passenger car production resumes
Sep 21, 1945 Edsel Ford's son, Henry Ford II, named President of the company
Apr 7, 1947 Henry Ford dies at Fair Lane, his Dearborn, Michigan estate, at the age of 83
Jan 25, 1955 Ernest Breech appointed Chairman
Jan 17, 1956 Ford Motor Company becomes a publicly-held company with public sale of common stock. Listed on NYSE on Mar 7, 1956
May 10, 1956 New Ford Motor Company subsidiary, Aeronutronics Systems, established, specializing in defense weapons and aerospace technology
August 24, 1959 Ford Motor Credit Company formed
Jul 13, 1960 Ernest Breech resigns as Chairman. Henry Ford II elected Chairman in addition to his Presidency
Nov 9, 1960 Henry Ford II resigns Presidency and becomes CEO, in addition to remaining Chairman. Robert McNamara becomes President. He resigns Jan 1, 1961 to become Secretary of Defense for John F. Kennedy
Jan 1, 1961 John Dykstra elected President
Oct 3, 1961 UAW call first company-wide strike against Ford Motor Company since the first contract was signed in 1941. Strike ends Oct 20 with 3-year agreement
Dec 11, 1961 Ford Motor Company acquires Philco Corp.
May 1, 1963 Arjay Miller named President
Sep 6, 1967 UAW calls company-wide strike. Continues until Oct 22, 1967
Feb 6, 1968 Semon "Bunky" Knudsen named President
Dec 10, 1970 Lee Iacocca named President. Leaves Ford Motor Company on Oct 15, 1978. Becomes President of Chrysler in Nov 1978
Oct 1, 1979 Henry Ford II retires as CEO. He retires as Chairman in 1980. Philip Caldwell promoted from Vice Chairman to CEO and President on Oct 1, 1979, and becomes Chairman in 1980. Donald Peterson replaces Caldwell as President and CEO in 1980
Feb 1, 1985 Philip Caldwell retires and Donald Peterson becomes Chairman. Harold "Red" Poling becomes President
1986/1987 Ford Motor Company earnings exceed those of General Motors for the first time since 1926
Sep 29, 1987 Henry Ford II dies
1987 Ford Motor Company earns record profits, $4.63 billion
1990 Donald Peterson retires. Harold Poling named new Chairman. Philip Benton named President

The Ford Motor Company acquires Jaguar for $2.5 billion.

Ford Motor Company’s largest 1-year loss ever, $2.3 billion.

Ford Motor Company’s QualityCare system is created to meet the diverse “aftersales” needs of private Ford owners and Ford Dealerships.

Ford and Volkswagen embark upon a joint venture in “AutoEuropa,” an organization which will produce multipurpose vehicles at Setuba, Portugal.


Ford’s F-Series pickup truck becomes the best selling vehicle in the United States for its tenth consecutive year.

Ford’s Taurus is the first car to have an environmentally friendly air-conditioning system [chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) are neither created nor released].

Ford Motor Company acquires 50% of Mazda Motor Manufacturing, renaming it AutoAlliance International.


Ford Motor Company is honored to claim five of the eight top selling vehicles in the United States.

Ford President Philip Benton, Jr. retires.

Alex Trotman, a key player in establishing Ford of Europe, becomes Chairman and CEO of the Ford Motor Company. Almost immediately, Trotman begins efforts to “globalize” the corporation.

The first formal Ford Dealerships are placed inside Mainland China. Later, Ford China Operations is created, securing the establishment of manufacturing and assembly centers inside China.

Development begins on a marketable natural gas-powered vehicle.

Ford Motor Company is the first auto maker to have dual airbags as standard equipment in most of its cars.


The first Ford vehicle assembly begins in India.

Ford acquires Hertz, the world’s largest car rental company.


As part of Chairman and CEO Alex Trotman’s plans to “globalize” Ford Motor Company, Ford 2000 is initiated. Ford 2000 will “combine the power, resources, and reach of a world company with the immediacy, intimacy, agility, and spirit of a small one”.


The Ford Motor Company, in keeping with its globalization goals, develops a new family-car designed to fit global needs. In North America, it is marketed as the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, while in Europe, Taiwan, and the Middle East, the automobile is the Mondeo.

Following the launch of Ford Dealerships inside Russia , a Sales and Marketing Office is sited in Moscow .

Ford is the first and only Auto Company to certify all of its plants (140 plants in 26 different countries) under the provisions of ISO 14001—the world environmental standard.

The 250 millionth Ford Vehicle is assembled.


Research begun in 1993, leads to the first fleet of natural gas-powered cars to be sold commercially. These automobiles were then marketed to New York City as taxis.

The Ford Motor Company creates Visteon Automotive Systems to design, develop, and deliver fully integrated systems for the world market.

Ford announces plans to transfer ownership of Budget Rent-A-Car to Team Rental Group.


Stemming from the successful Ford Schools Construction Program, Ford of Mexico’s Quality Education Program begins to provide a myriad of educational and developmental services to students, parents, and teachers.

Ford Motor Company and the Mobil Corporation ally in the ongoing search for alternative, and cleaner, fuel sources.

Ford reports record $6.9 billion in earnings, thus allowing employees to earn record profit sharing at average of $6,000.

Ford’s Taurus takes Winston Cup Victory.

With the environment in mind, Ford rallies with Ballard and Daimler-Benz automotive groups to develop fuel-cell technology.

Side impact airbags are introduced into Ford’s North American car lineup.

The United States Postal Service awards a $206.4 million contract to Ford for 10, 000 “alternative fuel” delivery trucks.

Ford teams with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to bring artificial intelligence (AI) into the automobile sector. The AI is designed to improve fuel economy by monitoring fuel combustion rates.


Continuing its quest to globalize, The Ford Motor Company launches IKON, the first car specifically designed for India. Ford’s IKON is assembled at its “state-of-the-art” plant in Marimali Nagar.

After six years at Ford, Alex Trotman retires and Jacques Nasser, formerly of Ford Australia and Ford of Europe, becomes President.

The Ford Motor Company’s Board of Directors elects William Clay Ford, Jr., a great-grandson of Henry Ford, Chairman of the Board.

Internationally recognized for the highest of safety and quality standards, the Swedish carmaker Volvo becomes a member of the Ford Family for $6.45 billion.

To start an automotive e-business integrated supply chain, Ford joins with the Oracle Corporation.

Ford seeks the acquisition of 51% interest in Norway’s PIVCO Industries, the maker of TH!NK, a dual seat electric-powered “city car.”

Ford Motor Company combines Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lincoln, and Volvo under the umbrella of the Premier Auto Group.

As a companion to QualityCare, Ford purchases the British auto-service chain Kwik-Fit for $1.6 billion.

In addition to the certification of its own plants as ISO 14001-friendly, Ford requires all suppliers with manufacturing facilities to adhere to that same standard.

Ford produces the first production vehicle to comply with California’s strict LEV II Emissions Requirements.

The Lincoln LS is named Motor Trends’ Car of the Year.

The 1914 Ford Model T is named the Car of the Century at a gala event in Las Vegas, Nevada.


At the Oakville, Ontario Ford Facility, Ford of Canada opens the YMCA ChildCare Centre to offer “employees and community residents a state-of-the-art learning environment for preschool children”.

Ford of Mexico teams up with Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resource Ministry to save Lacandona, the last rainforest in the Northern Hemisphere.

Visteon, created in 1998 by Ford Motor Company, becomes an independent organization.

At the North American International Auto Show, Ford officially announces the development of a “family-sized, hybrid-electric vehicle” by 2003.

The Ford Focus is named both the North American Car of the Year and European Car of the Year.

Ford officially takes ownership of LandRover from BMW.

The Ford Motor Company begins the massive re-development of the Rouge Center.

Employees of the Ford Motor Company receive an average of $8,000 in profit sharing for the year of 1999, as well as a home computer, printer, and Internet access.

The Ford Motor Company donates over $18 million to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Zoo, the Detroit Science Center, the Henry Ford Academy, Princeton University’s Environmental Institute, and the San Diego Environment Foundation.

To streamline global business, Ford, GM, and Daimler Chrysler combine efforts to form a “business to business integrated supplier exchange through a single global router”.

Ford Division Teams with US Auto Dealers and J.D. Power to launch the “Blue Oval” certified program, “the most comprehensive customer satisfaction initiative in automotive retailing”.

Approximately 15,000 “bi-fuel” vehicles roll off of Ford Motor Company’s assembly lines.


Jacques Nasser retires from his position at the Ford Motor Company, leaving William Clay Ford, Jr., the President and CEO.

Ford Motor Company reports 7,424 million vehicles sold with $107, 064 Million in total revenue.

Ford announces the construction of 6 2003 Model T-100’s (1914 Model T Replicas) for use an April 2003 exhibit at The Henry Ford.

Motor Trend’s names Ford Thunderbird “Car of the Year” for an unprecedented fourth time.

Continuing a trend of increased auto-safety measures, Ford launches “Boost America,” a program which gives away 100,000 booster seats and education on booster seat safety.

The Pacific Basin Economic Council recognizes The Ford Motor Company for its contributions to environment conservation.


The Ford Motor Company announces plans to sponsor the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (E.A.A.) “Countdown to Kitty Hawk,” a commemoration of the 100 th anniversary of the Wright Brother’s first powered flight.


In October, Ford unveils a hybridized fuel cell-powered automobile built into the frame of the wildly popular Ford Focus.

The Ford Motor Company celebrates its 100th Anniversary on June 16.



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