Welcome to the second part of ‘Henry Ford – The Early Years’. The first part of this blog post established Henry Fords background and the setting up the Ford Motor company in 1903 and we now going to look at the next vital steps that where undertaken to establish Ford as a major player in the industry as well as the world.
Fords next achievement was a newly designed car. An exhibition on the ice of Lake St, Clair saw Ford travel 1 mile in 39.4 seconds which set a new land speed record at 91.3 miles per hour. Due to the success of this, race driver Barney Oldfield took the car around the United States which enabled people to see the car and raise awareness of the Ford brand. Ford also became one of the first backers of the Indianapolis 500.
The Model T was introduced by Ford in 1908 and featured the steering wheel on the left hand side (a model that other cars soon copied). The car was simple to drive and easy and cheap to repair. The price of the car continued to fall year on year making the car more affordable. So affordable in fact that the majority of Americans learned to drive in the Model T.
In 1914 Ford astonished the world by offering $5 a day to his employees. Which in those days was a vast sum of money which amounts to a wage about $111 by todays standards. This was a move that was deemed very bold but proved to be a very profitable one. This was what Ford called a “wage motive” move that brought people with expertise to the roles that Ford offered.
Fords marketing was a key part to the success. Detroit newspapers became awash with adverts and press information about Ford and their new products. This made the car very desirable and which started a passion for many people with not just for the Ford product but for automobiles in general. Ford became incredibly popular and saw increases of sales and profits year on year. Ford later introduced the Model A to allow buyers to have more choice. This was to mark the start of new models each year. The Model A was also contributed by his son Edsel who showed at a young age a passion for cars and design.
So there we have the beginning of Henry Ford and The Ford Motor Company. Still a key player today and going strong from the day it was started. So much so that its houses many large Ford dealer ships dedicated to the brand that offer new and used ford vans and cars for commercial and non commercial use.