After the moving assembly line brought the work to the workers, productivity soared. PHOTO: From the Collections of The Henry Ford and Ford Motor Co.
Take your pick. What is the most significant story in Ford Motor Co.'s first 100 years? The moving assembly line? The $5 day? The Model T? Or maybe your fancies turn toward more modern events: Henry Ford II takes over; the introduction of the Mustang; the firing of Lee Iacocca. The editors of Automotive News pondered a century of stories and drew up their list of the Top 10. Five of them are from the early days of the company, three are from its middle years (1940-1960), and two are from the modern era (since 1960). Make your own choices and compare them with ours. We're sure there will be both agreement and disagreement. But that's part of the fun of Top 10 lists.
The 10 most significant stories

Other Ford anniversary coverage
  • Automotive News Europe Ford 100 coverage

  • Crain's Detroit Business: The Ford Legacy
  • No. 1 The line moves
    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. Henry Ford was doing it all a century ago. View story

    No. 2 $5 a day
    Henry’s $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

    No. 3 The Tin Lizzie
    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

    No. 4 Enter Henry II
    Two Henrys struggle for power
    Despite his famous surname, Henry Ford II was not an obvious candidate to inherit the corner office at Ford Motor Co. View story

    No. 5 The Rouge
    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

    No. 6 Day 1
    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

    No. 7 UAW moves in
    Ford Motor battles, befriends labor
    From paying factory workers an unheard of $5 a day in 1914 to his violent opposition to the UAW in the 1930s, Ford shaped labor's progress in 20th century America. View story

    No. 8 Going public
    Henry Ford never wanted his company to go public
    Henry Ford never wanted his company to go public. He might not have said, "Over my dead body," but he certainly felt that way - and in the end that's how it worked out. View story

    No. 9 Mustang's a smash
    Mustang inspired passion, profits
    On April 17, 1964, Ford Motor Co. launched the original Mustang and created one of the most sensational and beloved automobiles of the 20th century. View story

    No. 10 Taurus shines
    Taurus revived Ford - for a while
    The auto industry's hits don't come much bigger than the 1986 Ford Taurus. View story

    Ford 100
    stories 1-25
    Ford 100
    stories 26-50
    Ford 100
    stories 51-75
    Ford 100
    stories 76-100