This is a great milestone
It is rare for any company to reach its 100th anniversary. Ford Motor Co.'s 100th anniversary matters to its employees, its shareholders, its dealers and everyone else in the automobile industry. View story
By KEITH CRAIN
Publisher and Editorial Director

The Ford difference: It's personal
More than any other auto company, Ford Motor Co. is an outsized person - a glamorous uncle who has made, lost and regained millions, who is generous if sometimes reckless, who learns from his mistakes. View story
By PETER BROWN
Executive Editor

Stories 1 - 25


Other Ford anniversary coverage
  • Automotive News Europe Ford 100 coverage

  • Crain's Detroit Business: The Ford Legacy
  • A simplified look at the Ford family tree
    The children of Edsel and Eleanor Ford, and their children. View story

    1.Driving a dream
    It didnít look like much: a primitive two-cylinder engine, a flywheel, four bicycle wheels and a bare-bones frame. Yet Henry Fordís 1896 Quadricycle, put together in a Detroit coal shed seven years before the birth of Ford Motor Co., had one feature none of the vehicles of its time could match: a creator with the talent, vision and obsession to put the nation on wheels. View story

    2.Race gave Ford a second chance
    Ford racing, indeed Ford Motor Co. itself, began life one Thursday afternoon in the fall of 1901 at a one-mile dirt oval on Detroitís east side. View story

    Edsel Ford II seeks missing punch bowl
    Jim Burke Ford of Bakersfield, Calif., has issued an all-points bulletin on Henry Fordís missing punch bowl set. The reward for returning it is a 2003 Ford Expedition. View story

    3.Ford forges dealership network
    There are more than 4,500 Ford Motor Co. dealerships in the United States. A century ago, that number was one. The owner of that lone dealership was William Hughson, a West Coast transplant who met Henry Ford in 1902 at a bicycle show. View story

    4.In the beginning, prospects were dim
    On June 16, Henry Ford and 11 other investors signed the articles of incorporation with the state of Michigan for Ford Motor Co. View story

    5.Ford takes control of his company
    The rift between Henry Ford and Alex Malcomson had become a fissure by late 1905, and the shouting and table pounding in the boardroom could be heard by eavesdropping clerks. View story

    6.Tin Lizzie is born
    In a 12-by-18-foot corner on the third floor of Ford Motor Co.'s Piquette Avenue factory in Detroit, the plans to put the world on wheels were set in motion early in the 20th century. View story

    Driving the T keeps a novice busy
    Imagine never having driven a car before. Your only mode of transportation has been a horse and buggy. That's what a Ford consultant coaches me to do as we approach the shiny Ford Model T on the test track. View story

    Replicas: History plus modern touches
    Four years ago, two men - an antique car broker and a Ford engineer - set out to replicate one of the world's most famous cars: the 1914 Model T. View story

    7.Dreamer, schemer couldn't agree
    They call Henry Ford a wheeler-dealer. But Billy Durant took the cake on wheeling and dealing. View story

    8.Landmark patent case broke Selden's lock on auto industry
    If George Baldwin Selden had been as good at building an automobile as he was at crafting a patent, he might have become a true automotive pioneer. View story

    9.Ford's global expansion ensured a long life
    Individuals in other countries had faith in Ford, and with their help, Ford spread rapidly over oceans and across continents, bringing the era of the automobile everywhere. View story

    10.Ford, Chevy battle yearly in The Great Race
    The Great Race began in 1912. It's still going on, and it will continue as long as Fords and Chevrolets are built. It begins on Jan. 1 each year, and it winds up the following Dec. 31. It's the race for sales - the race for bragging rights. View story

    11.When Ford wanted more, faster, cheaper, the assembly line began to move
    How clever the world feels today when it talks about its accomplishments in the fields of manufacturing and industrial design: efficiency, cost reduction, innovation, automation, worker incentive, job-time reduction, kaizen. Yet Henry Ford was doing it all a century ago. View story

    12.Model T had many shades; black dried fastest
    You've heard the phrase umpteen times: "You can have any color as long as it's black." It's one of the most famous quotes attributed to Henry Ford, about his Model T. Too bad it's not true. View story

    13.Henryís $5 day stunned the world
    What can you buy for $5 these days? Two gallons of milk and a loaf of bread? Maybe -- if they're on sale. A movie ticket? Good luck. Five bucks was a lot of money 89 years ago. View story

    14.Fit for $5 a day? The company will decide
    How do you plan to spend your paycheck? Are you going to church? Is your house clean? It's hard to imagine employers asking such questions today. But it was standard procedure at Ford Motor Co. in 1914. View story

    15.What was true then is true now: There's no sales bait like a rebate
    We said it 20 years ago, and it's worth saying again: "If you want to move merchandise, then a proven effective way is the good old price reduction." The first rebate program was initiated by Henry Ford on his Model T. View story

    16.Noble cause becomes a farce
    In the grim history of warfare, World War I stands out for its use of modern weaponry to elevate the level of death and suffering. Henry Ford recoiled at the senseless slaughter. But his attempt to stop it quickly turned to farce. View story

    Strong currents of nationalism led to rough seas for Ford's Peace Ship
    Henry Ford's efforts to bring about a negotiated peace ran counter to strong nationalism among Americans and their future allies in Britain and France. View story

    17.Trucks were a 'gift' from Ford customers
    Ford Motor Co. produced its first truck, the Model TT, on July 27, 1917. If the Model T was "the people's car," the Model TT was, almost literally, "the people's truck." View story

    18.The mighty Rouge transforms America's industrial landscape
    The scale of the Rouge plant, its design (by noted architect Albert Kahn) and the ideas it embodied transformed the industrial landscape. View story

    19.Henry was angry; partners had to get out
    Henry Ford was shocked when minority shareholders John and Horace Dodge sued in 1916, claiming that Henry Ford had cheated shareholders of potential income by pricing cars too low. View story

    Couzens was the biggest winner
    James Couzens was the last of the original Ford shareholders to sell his shares to Henry Ford. He received the biggest check. View story

    20.Henry stamped his genius on more than automobiles
    Henry Ford, the genius of yesterday, is so much the man of today that his ideas are still printed on milk cartons in grocery stores. Not ideas about cars. Ideas about soybeans. View story

    Henry's vivid imagination led him to many fields
    A look at some of Henry Ford's far-ranging interests, from Beyond the Model T by Ford R. Bryan. View story

    21.Views on Jews leave stain on Ford legacy
    By today's standards, Henry Ford surely would have been pilloried and left to burn in the seventh circle of public relations hell. View story

    Henry Ford -- warts and all
    Being one of the greatest visionaries of the industrial age did little to cover Henry Ford's quirky personal ideas and habits. Some of them were charming. Some of them weren't. View story

    22.Ford founder mingled with the mighty
    Henry Ford was recognized around the world as one of the men -- like his good friend Thomas Edison -- who in a profound sense was transforming the nature of modern life. So it's not unusual that he rubbed elbows with some of the greatest industrialists, inventors and celebrities of his time. View story

    Q&A: PR exec watched history unfold
    Although he was always in the background, Stan Drall had a ringside seat to watch the people and events that made history at Ford Motor Co. for 53 years. Drall reminisced about his career with Dale Jewett. View story

    23.Lincoln brought Ford sweet revenge - and a long line of luxury cars
    There was little love lost between Henry Ford and Henry Leland. So it may have seemed strange when Ford rescued Leland's Lincoln Automobile Co. Or maybe not. View story

    24.Only 6 makes have hit Magic Million mark
    The skeptics were shocked and not at all pleased when, in 1916, the infant auto industry chalked up 1 million car sales for the first time. By 1923, Ford became the first automaker to sell a million. View story

    25.Not just wheels, but wings
    Henry Ford made the automobile a mass-market product that transformed the world. He also had a profound effect on air travel. View story

    Ford backs re-creation of first Wright flight
    Ford Motor Co. has been the lead sponsor of a three-year, $6 million effort to re-enact the first flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright. The Experimental Aircraft Association of Oshkosh, Wis., organized the effort. View story

    Ford 100
    stories 1-25
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    Ford 100
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