Ford Key Dates In History

1863 Henry Ford born on a farm near Dearborn, Michigan.

1896 Henry Ford builds his first vehicle, the Quadricycle in a shed behind his home in Detroit and takes it for a drive in the middle of the night.

1901 Henry Ford wins a race in ‘Sweepstakes’ which helped him get the financial backing to start his company.

1903 Ford Motor Company founded on June 16 in Detroit, the first car is sold to a local doctor and the first two Ford cars in Britain – Model As are imported from the USA.

1904 Ford British sales organisation established – the Central Motor Car Company of London.

1908 Model T introduced.

1911 The first factory outside the US opened in Trafford Park, Manchester for Model T production – 30,000 will be built over the years.

1913 The first moving car assembly line is introduced at Highland Park, Michigan, making car assembly eight times faster and Henry Ford doubles the existing minimum wage rate to $5 a day.

1917 Fordson, the world’s first mass-produced tractor is built in Dearborn.

1918 Work started on the massive Rouge plant in Michigan. The facility allowed for the complete production of vehicles from the raw materials to final assembly.

1919 Edsel Ford succeeds Henry as company president.

1922 Ford buys the Lincoln brand.

1924 Dagenham site purchased.

1925 Ford builds the first of 196 Ford Tri-Motor airplanes, later used by America’s first commercial airlines.

1926 The 15 millionth Model T comes off the production line at Highland Park officially ending Model T production.

1927 New Model A goes on sale.

1928 Ford Motor Company Ltd established.

1931 Production begins at Dagenham, Europe’s largest factory.

1932 Ford is the first company to successfully cast a V8 engine block in one piece.

1935 Ford launches the £100 Model Y Popular.

1939 Ford Anglia introduced.

1940 The first Jeep for military use comes off the line at the Rouge plant.

1945 Henry Ford II is named Ford Motor Company president.

1948 Ford builds the first F-Series pick-up, the most successful vehicle in automotive history.

1954 The Thunderbird is introduced.

1950 Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac introduced.

1953 Southampton plant opened.

1956 First shares of Ford Motor Company common stock are sold.

1959 Ford Motor Credit Company is formed.

1962 Cortina launched.

1963 New plant opened at Halewood, Merseyside.

1964 The Ford Mustang is introduced and one million are sold in two years.

1965 Transit production begins at Southampton.

1966 The millionth Escort produced in three years and the GT40 takes the top three spots in the Le Mans 24 hour race.

1967 Ford of Europe is established to coordinate the development, manufacturing and sales of cars and trucks in Europe and Africa.

1968 Escort launched.

1970 The Saarlouis plant is opened in Germany, producing Escorts.

1976 Fiesta launched, and new plant opened in Valencia, Spain.

1977 Ford becomes market leader for new car sales in Britain, a position it has held ever since.

1979 Ford buys a 25 per cent stake in Mazda.

1980 Bridgend engine plant opened.

1982 Ford Ranger pick-up launched and Sierra introduced.

1985 Scorpio launched in Europe.

1987 Ford becomes a majority shareholder in Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.

1988 Ford launches the Probe.

1989 Ford buys Jaguar Cars for $2.5 billion.

1990 Ford Explorer SUV launched.

1993 Mondeo launched – Maverick and Probe introduced and Ford becomes the first car maker to have dual airbags fitted as standard equipment.

1995 Galaxy launched.

1996 Ford launches its innovative new Ka.

1997 Puma launched in UK.

1998 Ford Focus wins European Car of the Year.

1999 Ford buys Volvo for $6.45 billion.

2000 Ford buys Land Rover from BMW.

2001 New common rail diesel – TDCi launched in Focus and Mondeo. Ford celebrates 100 years of motorsport.

2002 Car production stops at Dagenham and the site becomes Ford’s global centre of diesel engine manufacture. Ford launches new Fiesta, Transit Connect, Fusion and Focus RS. New Design centre Ingeni is opened in London.

2003 Launch of Streetka and Sportka. Ford celebrates its Centennial.

Published 18 March 2003 Melanie Carter
 

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