Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. 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 the Lincoln brand. In the past it has also produced heavy trucks, tractors and automotive components. Ford owns small stakes in Mazda of Japan and Aston Martin of the United Kingdom. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership.
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 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 since 1938.
Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2010 vehicle sales. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe. Ford is the eighth-ranked overall American-based company in the 2010 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2009 of $118.3 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide.
As of 2012 Ford Motor Company sells a broad range of automobiles under the Ford marque worldwide, and an additional range of luxury automobiles under the Lincoln marque in the United States. The company has sold vehicles under a number of other marques during its history. The Mercury brand was introduced by Ford in 1939, continuing in production until 2011 when poor sales led to its discontinuation. In 1958, Ford introduced the Edsel brand, but poor sales led to its discontinuation in 1960. In 1985, the Merkur brand was introduced in the United States to market products produced by Ford of Europe; it was discontinued in 1989.
Ford acquired the British sports car maker Aston Martin in 1989, later selling it on March 12, 2007, retaining a small minority stake, and bought Volvo Cars of Sweden in 1999, selling it to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010. In November 2008, it reduced its 33.4% controlling interest in Mazda of Japan to a 13.4% non-controlling interest. On November 18, 2010, Ford reduced their stake further to just 3%, citing the reduction of ownership would allow greater flexibility to pursue growth in emerging markets. Ford and Mazda remain strategic partners through exchanges of technological information and joint ventures, including an American joint venture plant in Flat Rock, Michigan called Auto Alliance. Ford sold the United Kingdom-based Jaguar and Land Rover companies and brands to Tata Motors of India in March 2008.
In 2011, J.D. Power ranked Ford 23rd in initial quality, a drop from fifth in 2010. Consumer Reports magazine likewise decided not to recommend several new Ford SUVs, blaming the Sync entertainment and phone system used.
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST
Ford hybrid customers apparently have very short memories. With two EPA fuel economy reratings in the last year, sales of the C-Max, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ haven't been too terribly dented, Ward's Auto reports.
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST
All three vehicles saw sales dips following the August 2013 rerating, although sales of the MKZ Hybrid had begun to rebound as early as November of that year. C-Max sales, meanwhile, took slightly longer, with sales on a steadily improving course as early as February of this year.
The second rerating, in June of this year, has had an even smaller effect on the Blue Oval's hybrids. The C-Max has actually been subject to a sales increase, while both the MKZ and Fusion saw minor sales drops (less than 400 units between the two in the month following the rerating).
When it comes to forbidden fruit, few vehicles are spoken of in as hushed a tone as the Ford Focus RS. The turbocharged, five-cylinder hot hatch could only be seen from afar by American customers as it tore up the roads of Europe. And while it's safe to say that Ford's Yankee fans are quite happy to now be on equal footing with drivers in the old country thanks to the Focus ST, we doubt there'd be much protestation over a successor to the RS arriving stateside.
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:58:00 EST
Of course, we've seen images of the new RS undergoing testing, but a new story by Road and Track aims to fill in some very large blanks in our knowledge of that car, thanks to a pair of mysterious insiders at the Ford. Chief among those is this - the RS will almost certainly make its way to the US, albeit in limited quantities. It gets better, though.
Under hood, the new RS is unsurprisingly expected to borrow the 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder from the 2015 Ford Mustang and 2015 Lincoln MKC. While that twin-scroll turbo produces 310 horsepower in the Mustang and 285 ponies in the MKC, R&T expects the RS to deliver quite a bit more firepower - 325 to 350 hp, with preference going to the higher output due to the limited-edition nature of the RS. This roughly fits with previous reports.
Today's the day, Ford fans. Production has officially commenced on the sixth-generation 2015 Mustang at the company's Flat Rock, MI factory. As production ramps up, sales should kick off in the coming months.
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:59:00 EST
The production news isn't just a bit deal for American fans. With the new Mustang getting a bespoke right-hand-drive variant, the pony car's worldwide availability has swollen to include 120 different countries, including its home nation.
"Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience - one unlike any other."
This year more than most, it's pleasant when we can string together a few days without word of an automaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing a bunch of new recalls. It's seemingly been a little quiet on this front lately (barring a spider-related Suzuki issue revealed early today), but now we have word of the government safety agency opening a Preliminary Evaluation into the 2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor, a probe that could potentially affect an estimated 20,000 vehicles.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:57:00 EST
The issue being investigated concerns failures of the front brake hose on the vehicle that show "small splits in the hoses near the body side ferrule of the hose assembly," according to the agency, and the issue could result in longer stopping distances. The feds have reports of 13 malfunctions affecting 11 Explorer units. However, it's important to note that all of the incidents come from a single, unnamed metropolitan police fleet that operates 46 of them. According to The Detroit News, the failures generally took place between December and July.
NHTSA is investigating further to find if this is a more widespread issue than just this one fleet. Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker confirmed to us, "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." Scroll down to read the agency's report.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:16:00 EST
Thanks to the smoke wand in the wind tunnel, you can actually see the difference in our video.
Should you drive with your pickup truck's tailgate up or down? It's an age-old controversy that's divided drivers for decades. Traditionalists will swear you should leave the tailgate down. Makes sense, right? It would seem to let the air flow more cleanly over the body and through the bed. But there's also a school of thought that argues trucks are designed to look and operate in a specific manner, and modern design techniques can help channel the airflow properly. So don't mess with all of that: Leave the tailgate up.
Remember when we used to talk about how close Lincoln was to being axed and how it seemed any day now the Grim Reaper would use it as a car service back to the grave? Last time we did it was, oh, not even a month ago. What a difference 27 days makes: Ford and Lincoln are trumpeting a $129M investment in the Louisville Assembly Plant that builds the MKC.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:15:00 EST
In July the MKC was the third-best-selling Lincoln of the brand's six offerings, beat by the MKZ and - by a much smaller margin - the MKX. It has sold 2,895 units in the two months it's been on sale, which is more than half the year-to-date sales of the MKS, MKT and Navigator. It's already important, is what we're trying to say, and this is before the Chinese market gets a crack at it later this year.
The money headed to Kentucky will be joined by 300 new workers, another marker in Ford's march to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the US by next year. You can read more about it in the press release below.
Being pulled over by the police is one of the most nerve-racking situations that a driver can go through, and it's even worse when you know that the officer has you dead to rights for speeding well over the posted limit. In this video, the driver of a heavily modified Ford Mustang with a claimed 966 horsepower at the rear wheels could have easily lost his ride for doing triple-digit speeds and street racing, but a friendly Texas police officer appears to send him on his way with a simple warning.
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:00:00 EST
What's more, the driver in question wasn't just speeding - his Mustang was the camera car for a bunch of rolling street races in the wee hours of the morning on a Texas highway. The driver was more than willing to mix it up in the action, too. Eventually the cops catch on and pick the 'Stang to pull over, but not before the Ford owner runs a claimed 140 mph. With only audio to go on after the car is pulled over, the police officer seems incredibly nonchalant about catching someone who was so brazenly breaking the law. Incredibly, the patrolman actually tells the driver that he's seen everyone racing tonight but ignored them. With traffic picking up, the cop says that it's time to "cut it out" and go home for the night. As far as this video shows, that was the end of it.
Warning: There is explicit, not-safe-for-work language in the video below.
At the turn of the century, it was arguably the Honda Civic that best defined inexpensive performance tuning, and in the '50s it was the Tri-5 Chevys. One of the earliest platforms to gain a huge following among young people looking for a cheap way to go fast was the classic '32 Ford Highboy Roadster. This week, Jay Leno's Garage looks at one of the very first vehicles that defined the look of the hot rod heyday.
Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:57:00 EST
This '32 Ford was built in the '40s and graced the cover of the fourth issue of Hot Rod Magazine back in 1948. All of the hot rods that you see shining at car shows today owe a serious debt of gratitude to this roadster. It bears all of the cues that define the look, including a notched frame and hidden door hinges. Under the three-piece hood is a flathead V8 boasting all sorts of period modifications, including copper cylinder heads. It was seriously fast in its era too, and proved it by reaching 112.21 miles per hour on a dry lakebed in 1947.
These days, this hot rod is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Although, if you can't make it to California to see it, the United States Postal Service is celebrating this Ford with one of its two hot rod Forever stamps. Like Jay says in the video, in terms of hot rodding, "it all comes back to this." Check out the video to learn more about this rolling piece of tuning history.
Last year in Monterey, we met GTR1 for the first time. Galpin Auto Sports pulled the wraps off its Ford GT-based supercar, powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.4-liter V8 good for a whopping 1,024 horsepower and 739 pound-feet of torque. The thing was totally custom-made and reportedly took some 12,000 man hours to create. And there it sat on the Pebble Beach grass, $1,000,000-plus price tag and all.
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 08:57:00 EST
This year, the Galpin was back, albeit with one big change. That twin-turbo engine? Gone. In its place, a 5.4-liter V8 with a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger bolted on, delivering an astonishing 1,058 hp and 992 lb-ft of torque on 110-octane fuel. 0-60? 2.9 seconds. Top speed? Somewhere above 225 miles per hour.
"Some things to keep in mind: no stability control, no traction control," were the only warnings given by Galpin's Brandon Boeckmann before taking me on a quick spin in the supercar. And after having my eyes thrown into the back of my skull a few times, laughing hysterically and trying to regain full use of my hearing after my ear drums being bombarded by the apocalyptic roar behind me, Brandon pulled over and said it was my turn, if I was ready to take the wheel.
Let's start with some history: Ford's Dearborn truck plant, part of the company's massive River Rouge complex, was the center of a strike in 1941 that led to Ford signing the first "closed shop" agreement in the industry. The agreement obliged every worker at the plant to be a dues-paying member of the United Auto Workers. In December 2012, however, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation making Michigan a right-to-work state, which outlawed closed shops. The new law gave workers the right to opt out of union membership and stop paying dues even if they were still covered by union activities like collective bargaining. For employees at the Dearborn plant, the right-to-work clauses take effect at the end of their current contract in 2015.
As a tool-and-die maker at Ford's Dearborn plant for 16 years, Todd Lemire pays dues to the UAW - about two hours' salary per month. However, he's been unhappy with the UAW's support of the Democratic party, and not wanting to wait until next year to be out of the UAW entirely he invoked his Beck Rights, which state that a non-member of a union does not have to pay dues to support non-core activities, such as political spending. But Lemire wasn't happy that Ford still subtracted the total amount of dues, with the UAW reimbursing the difference, so he filed suit with the National Labor Relations Board, feeling that the workaround violates his rights.
Lemire's case is just a week old, so it could be a while before a resolution. Yet, as September 15, 2015 draws near and the right-to-work laws take full effect for Michigan workers - and others wonder whether it could help revitalize the state's manufacturing base - a case like this adds more fuel to the discussion.