Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (commonly known as Ford) is an American multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand, and luxury cars under its Lincoln luxury brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in Jiangling Motors. It also has joint-ventures in China (Changan Ford), Taiwan (Ford Lio Ho), Thailand (AutoAlliance Thailand), Turkey (Ford Otosan), and Russia (Ford Sollers). The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family; they have minority ownership but the majority of the voting power.
Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914, these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to the Indian automaker Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.
By 2005, both Ford and GM’s corporate bonds had been downgraded to junk status as a result of high U.S. health care costs for an aging workforce, soaring gasoline prices, eroding market share, and an overdependence on declining SUV sales. Profit margins decreased on large vehicles due to increased “incentives” (in the form of rebates or low-interest financing) to offset declining demand. In the latter half of 2005, Chairman Bill Ford asked newly appointed Ford Americas Division President Mark Fields to develop a plan to return the company to profitability. Fields previewed the Plan, named The Way Forward, at the December 7, 2005, board meeting of the company and it was unveiled to the public on January 23, 2006. “The Way Forward” included resizing the company to match market realities, dropping some unprofitable and inefficient models, consolidating production lines, closing 14 factories and cutting 30,000 jobs.
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