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Business and Finance

Evolution Of The Ford Motor Company

Introduction

On July 30, 1863, Henry Ford, who is behind one of the most famous automobile companies, was born in Spring Wells Township. His early childhood was spent on the farm, which is seven miles away from west Detroit. He studied in the school till the sixth grade and left the school and his farm to the Detroit city. After leaving without his father’s consent, he started working in the Michigan Car Company, where streetcar manufacturing was done. Later, Henry’s father supported him and helped him become a machinist by arranging his admission at James Flower & Brothers Machine Shop. He learned about the heavy industry while working for Detroit Dry Dock Company. By 1882, Henry started operating the steam traction on his own farm for all the neighboring farmers and also learned all the repairing of the engines, which were mainly from the Westinghouse Company (“The Birth Of Ford Motor Company – Henry Ford Heritage Association”).

Discussion

It was the year 1888 when Henry met Clara and married her in April of the same year. After the marriage, he started working on the farm, which was inherited from him by his father, and the work was mainly related to housekeeping. Henry was clearly not interested in farming as his father had done throughout his life, and he wanted him to work in the same way. So, he only spent his two years on the farms, cutting the wood from the land by using the steam engine, and this work was mainly done by neighbors. Henry and Clara spent a great amount of time building the apartment on those farms by working hard, which was their honeymoon home. Even though they had put in a great amount of effort, it was shocking for Clara that Henry wished to move back to Detroit to work the night shift for Edison Illuminating for only $40 per month. The position was worth leaving everything behind because Henry saw the learning it would give him related to electrical engineering. He soon left for Detroit and joined Edison, which quite benefited him due to his hard work because they offered him a position to run the steam engine at the main power plant of Edison for $75 per month. The engine, which was run on gasoline, intrigued Henry and later motivated him to create his own, which was a crude engine built in December 1893. That engine is used by both the husband and wife in their home kitchen. Through his experience with these types of engines, he came to know the principles of engines run on gasoline (“Ford – New Cars, Trucks, SUVs, Crossovers & Hybrids | Vehicles Built Just For You‎ | Ford.Com”).

During his time at Edison, Henry earned their trust, which gave him plenty of time for his own work. He started experimenting with various types of engines and building his own, which were run on gasoline. Henry’s friends helped in designing those engines, and in 1896, he successfully created the first vehicle, which he named the quadricycle. “ During the same summer, Henry was lucky enough to be invited by his boss to the meeting in the executive office. The office was in Manhattan, where Henry got the chance to discuss his own vehicle with the owner of Edison Illuminating Company, Mr. Thomas Edison. Mr. Edison praised his work and asked him to continue his work because it will contribute greatly in the future. However, Henry’s boss was against his idea because he wanted to build something run by electricity rather than gasoline. These remarks from his boss never stopped Henry from working, and in the meantime, he continued working on his vehicle for an improved version. During that time, Henry started taking it seriously to manufacture an automobile that would run on gasoline. Despite financial constraints, Henry built his second Ford vehicle in the year 1898. Henry was considering starting his own business, but the only problem was finance through which he would be able to start his own vehicle business. Mr. William H. Murphy was the one who solved Henry’s problem and accepted the offer to give financial help to Henry for his own business because Mr. William was impressed by Henry’s work (Su, Xuming, and David, 16).

Henry Ford started the Detroit Automobile on 15 August 1899 with the position of superintendent and with the funds of Mr. William and Henry’s friends. Henry left his job at Edison Illuminating Company despite promising salaries. It was the year 1900 when the Detroit Automobile Company delivered its first product, which was a delivery Wagon. Henry had many manufacturing and engineering problems at the start, and there was pressure from stakeholders who emphasized the number of products that should be launched so that they could earn maximum profit quickly. Henry produced many vehicles at that time, but apart from one at a time, others were not as good in quality as they should be because it was out of reach from Henry’s capacity. With the final check of $75, the company was dissolved due to these mentioned problems, and after that, he also received a letter from his friend warning him regarding the legal issues. The matter was related to the Selden plant, and Henry himself knew that he would face this problem (McMahon, 26).

Henry again started to make new strategies that would help him get into the market. With the help of his friends, he planned to build racing automobiles because his main skill was to build high-power engines, and racing cars would help him get the market share. A 2-cylinder lightweight racer car was built by Henry, which cost around $5000. This racer car received quite an appreciation, and Henry sold that car for $1000, which gave the message of his victory. This was when the Henry Ford Company came into being in the year 1901. Henry was the founder and Chief Engineer of the company and owned the one0sixth of the company. The goal of the company was to build lightweight racing cars, and the rate would be $1000. Murphy, who helped him a long was concerned when Henry started working on big cars because it was Murphy who financed the first racing car. After being neglected by Henry, Murphy bought a consultant in mechanical engineering to look into the matter (Harmon, 40).

It was 1902 when Tom Cooper contacted Henry to build him two racing cars. Tom was a rich champion of bicyclists. After this agreement, Henry left the company to Murphy and agreed that they could use his name. Henry wanted to work on something else, but Murphy wanted something else. Later, Murphy changed the name of Henry Ford to Cadillac Automobile and reorganized the whole company according to his own requirements. In the same year, Henry and Tom Cooper arranged a space where they could work. The two cars that Henry started building were 999 Ford and Cooper, which was Arrow. They hired ten employees and gave them ten cents an hour. Their main motivation was the Manufacturers’ Challenge Cup, which was the first race. The 999 was built first, and it was 80 to 100 horsepower, which was the fastest at that time, and all of them who worked on it resisted driving it. They hired Barney, who was willing to drive in the race, and they won it, which gave Ford a big name (Johnson, 13).

During the preparation for the race, Henry was in contact with Alexander Malcomson, the famous coal dealer. He was the one with who Henry started the Ford & Malcomson Company, which would later become the Ford Motor Company. The success in the race earned enough name to Henry that the company soon went public and the share rate during that time was set $10 each. The progress earned them enough name and money that they expanded the company through its operations. They also faced a few problems, but those didn’t stop them from growing and becoming the leaders of the automotive industry (González-Crespo, 1401).

Conclusions

Now, the most successful automotive manufacturers in the world are Ford Motor Company. Started with many struggles and limited finances. Henry had to leave the luxury of farms and even the best job of Edison. The problems with friends and business partners were also major barriers. However, Henry was motivated enough not just to complete his dream but also to achieve the title of successful automotive manufacturer. He studied in the school till the sixth grade and left the school and his farm for Detroit City because of his dream. Henry was clearly not interested in farming as his father had done throughout his life and wanted him to work the same way. So, he only spent his two years on the farms, cutting the wood from the land by using the steam engine, and this work was mainly done by neighbors. Henry and Clara spent a great amount of time building the apartment on those farms by working hard, which was their honeymoon home. Even though they had put in a great amount of effort, it was shocking for Clara that Henry wished to move back to Detroit to work the night shift for Edison Illuminating for only $40 per month. The small amount of salary was enough for him to work what he always wanted to do.

Works Cited

“The Birth Of Ford Motor Company – Henry Ford Heritage Association.” Henry Ford Heritage Association. N.p., 2018. Web. 6 Mar. 2018.

“Ford – New Cars, Trucks, SUVs, Crossovers & Hybrids | Vehicles Built Just For You‎ | Ford.Com.” Ford.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 6 Mar. 2018.

Su, Xuming, and David Wagner. “IV. 6 Integrated Computational Materials Engineering Development of Carbon Fiber Composites for Lightweight Vehicles–Ford Motor Company.” Lightweight Materials 2016 Annual Report (2017): 177.

McMahon, Brian. The Ford Century in Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Harmon, Paul. “The scope and evolution of business process management.” Handbook on business process management 1. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2015. 37-80.

Johnson, Timothy S. Making the Invisible Hand Visible: Ford Motor Company, Industrial Film, and the Rise of Economic-Organizational Rhetoric. Diss. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014.

González-Crespo, S., and J. M. Vazquez. “Ford Motor Company in Cadiz 1929-1923.” Procedia Manufacturing 13 (2017): 1397-1404.

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