Ford Motor Company
Most people refer to the Ford Motor Company as just Ford and I am one of the many. Ford is an American multinational firm that manufactures automobiles. The firm has its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. As much as the company is a top global automobile manufacturer, it started out of a single individual’s passion for vehicles.
Henry Ford came together with 12 other investors and managed to get The Ford Motor Company incorporated in the year 1903, over a century ago. But that was not the first stint for Henry to manufacture an automobile. It was actually his third one. The first stint was in 1899 when he worked at the Detroit Automobile Company where he worked for less than one year. As soon as he left the company, he built a race car that had a power output of only 26 horsepower. In the year 1901, Henry used this car to compete against an established race car driver, Alexander Winston, in a 10 lap race at Detroit Driving Club. Despite Alexander having a car with a power output of 70 horsepower, Henry won the race.
Whenever the mention of Ford in the automobile industry happens, any motor vehicle enthusiast will definitely visualize the firm’s logo. What most people might not know is that Ford’s scripted typeface, the trademark, was first introduced in the year 1907. The trademark has undergone four more variations since the first one was introduced in 1907. The current Ford trademark was introduced in the year 2003 and probably a better one will be introduced in the future. One thing that is clear with all the variations of the trademark is the unmistakable identity of the logo.
The corporate paradigm is that every successful firm should have some social responsibility. Ford is a successful company and it definitely gives back to the community in different ways. Just like the Ford’s founder had a passion for automobiles, the company now inspires development of talents, especially in arts in the Detroit Community. The firm, through its Company Fund, works with DSO (Detroit Symphony Orchestra) musicians in creating a series of orchestral music performances in the community. These performances enable people be aware of the orchestral music as an art, which someone can venture into. Another corporate responsibility that Ford has taken up is providing challenge grants to students in order to encourage building of sustainable communities.
Vision and passion are key components for any business venture. This story is definitely seen through the efforts of Henry Ford in setting up the Ford Motor Company.
Microeconomics research paper on Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is the world's fourth largest automotive manufacturer by production volume. The company sells vehicles under the Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, and Volvo (to be sold) brands.
Since the mid-1990s, Ford has been steadily losing market share in the US car market, from 25% in FY1995 to 5.5% in FY2009. At the same time, Ford's European operations have increased share by producing many critically acclaimed vehicles well known for quality.
This difference between Ford's domestic and international operations is a result of costly US manufacturing facilities caused by high wages and expensive healthcare and retirement obligations for union labor. Therefore, improving operational efficiency and developing a more fuel efficient product offering are the centerpieces of Ford's turnaround plan. For example, Ford has cut 40,000 jobs in the past three years and closed seven factories in the past five years. Meanwhile the company has unveiled plans to bring six of its fuel efficient models (average fuel economy of over 30 mpg) currently sold in Europe to the U.S. market. In addition to answering demand for smaller cars in the short-term, Ford hopes that offering the same lineup of automobiles in all of its international markets will provide considerable economies of scale in the long-term.
Ford has been restructuring Volvo and separating its operations to run on a stand-alone basis. Ford started discussions on the sale of Volvo in the first quarter of FY2009, and in March 30, 2010, Ford confirmed that it had sold its Volvo unit to Chinese automaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. for $1.8 billion, $1.6 billion in cash and another $200 million note. Ford expects the transaction will be complete by third quarter FY2010, when regulatory applications have been settled.
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Business and Financial Metrics
Ford makes money by selling and financing motor vehicles on six continents. At the end of FY2009, Ford had about 198,000 employees, down from 213,000 at the end of FY2008). Ford bought several foreign luxury auto brands during the 1990s, but as the company's financial position became more tenuous, most of these have been sold off in order to focus on the core brands of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury.
Ford has also been successful in drastically improving the quality and reliability of its cars. These improvements meant that by early 2009 Ford exceeded Honda in initial quality rankings and in a statistical dead heat with Toyota. Not only do such improvements make cars more attractive to consumers, but they have also reduced Ford's warranty costs by $127 million in FY2009. On January 11, 2010, Fitch Ratings announced that it has upgraded Ford from CCC to B-, in lieu of a positive outlook for FY2010, such as Fitch's expectation that Ford will turn a positive cashflow in FY2010.
FY2008 worldwide wholesale unit volumes by automotive segment (in thousands)
Ford Asia Pacific and Africa
Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin