Ford Motor Credit Co. was launched in 1959 to help dealers sell vehicles and finance their inventories and operations.
The formation of a captive finance arm was not a new concept: General Motors Acceptance Corp. had opened 40 years earlier. Ford had an arrangement with an outside company, Universal CIT. But Universal CIT wasnt obligated to buy finance contracts from Ford dealers, says John Noone, executive vice president for North American diversified and major accounts at Ford Credit.
There was a time when Ford dealers did
not have the same advantage as GM
dealers, he says.
Fords financing business started slowly. Within three years, it had 100 branches small offices in major cities near Ford, Mercury and Lincoln dealerships, Noone says. But by 1963, Ford Credit had about 1,000 employees. And by 1964, it had $1 billion in finance receivables, tiny compared with the nearly $200 billion in receivables on its books today.