A Timeline History of Ford – Ford Motor Company Celebrates 112 Years


The Ford Motor Company was first incorporated on June 16th, 1903. In other words, today Ford Motors turns 112 years old! As one of the largest suppliers of OEM wheels in the country, Blackburn’s Wheels has a unique appreciation for Ford. In fact, we’ve sold thousands and thousands of OEM Ford wheels over the years. Whether you’re more of a Chevy fan or not – the impact Ford has had on the automobile industry has been dramatic and undeniable. Take a look at the interesting history of Ford in the timeline below:



Henry Ford starts his first automobile manufacturing company, the Detroit Automobile Company. Henry Ford pictured to the right in 1888 at the ripe old age of 25.


The company is renamed to the Henry Ford Company.

March 1902

After disagreements with investors, Henry Ford abandons the company. He manages to secure $900 and regained the rights to his name on his way out.

June 16th, 1903

Ford is officially incorporated. Henry Ford signs articles of incorporation for the Ford Motor Company along with 11 investors.

October 1st, 1908

Ford unveils the Model T. The revolutionary automobile quickly becomes one of the most driven cars in the world. Ford would continue production of the Model T for nearly 20 years and manufactured over 15 million during that time.

October 7th, 1913


Ford unveils the world’s first continuously moving assembly line at the Highland Park assembly plant outside of Detroit, Michigan.

January 5th, 1914

Ford more than doubles its salary for employees making Model Ts at the Highland Park plant. Employees earning $2.34 for a nine hour work day now earned $5 for an eight hour day. This results in 15,000 job seekers vying for 3,000 open positions.

March 1st, 1941

In response to WWII, Ford begins manufacturing the earliest “jeeps” (short for General Purpose or G.P.) for the U.S. military. Ford shifted completely to military production in February 1942. Normal production for civilian vehicles would not resume until July 1945,which was after Victory over Europe day but before Victory over Japan day.

January 17th, 1956

Ford’s IPO results in over 10 million shares of common stock sold. 22 percent of the company is purchased. Henry Ford would later regret ever going public.

April 17th, 1964


Ford debuts the Mustang at the 1964 World Fair and dealerships across the country. An astounding 22,000 Ford Mustangs were sold that day. Pictured above is a 1965 Mustang.

September 7th, 1987

Ford purchases 75 percent of the struggling British luxury automaker Aston Martin Lagonda, Ltd.


Ford’s earns $5.3 billion worldwide. At the time, this set a record for most money earned by an automaker.

December 1st, 1989

Ford purchases Jaguar for nearly $2.5 billion dollars.

March 15th, 1990

Ford Introduces one of the first SUVs ever. The Ford Explorer remained the best selling SUV on the market for 15 years.

July 1st, 1992

Ford purchases half of Mazda Motor Manufacturing. The company is renamed AutoAlliance International.

June 20th, 1993

Ford sets up shop in China. Ford’s first dealership in China is opened. Ford looks to compete in China with competitors like General Motors and Volkswagen.

August 21st, 1997

As a result of looking to develop alternative fuels that are more environmentally friendly, Ford sells the first taxicabs that run on natural gas instead of gasoline to taxi companies in New York City.

August 2000

After 271 rollover deaths occur in Ford Explorers, Bridgestone recalls nearly 7 million tires.

May 2001

Ford recalls 13 million additional tires as a result of the rollover deaths. Bridgestone terminates its business relationship with Ford and accuses Ford of using Bridgestone as a scapegoat for the Ford Explorer. Ultimately, a federal investigation concluded that the main cause of the problem was in fact faulty tires manufactured by Bridgestone.

July 11th, 2005

Under the Mercury brand name, Ford releases its first gas-electric hybrid SUV. The Mercury Mariner costs roughly $4,000 than the gasoline-only equivalent.

November 2005

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC pays Ford $240 million to help pay for the enormous costs of the Ford Explorer rollover recalls. Estimated at $2 billion, this still only represented 12% of the cost.


Ford’s share of the market continues to dwindle over the past decade. In 1990, Ford enjoyed a 24 percent market share. By 2005, Ford’s market share was an estimated 17.4 percent.


Ford begins selling cars featuring the turbocharged EcoBoost engine.


Ford discontinues the Mercury line to focus on the Lincoln and Ford brands.

April 17th, 2014

The Ford Mustang turns 50! In a bizarre and ironic twist, the Mustang purchases a convertible human!

June 19th, 2014

Ford opens 88 dealerships in China in just one day. Ford’s guerrilla warfare-esque strategy aims to target the smaller, yet still highly populated areas that may be overlooked by competitors like General Motors.

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