Brand Name- Ford Motor Company
Founded by- Henry Ford
The multinational automaker from America, Ford Motor Company, has its main headquarters, also known as the Glass House, located at Dearborn in Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The company was founded by Henry Ford who later incorporated it on 16th June 1903. Commercial vehicles and automobiles are sold under the Ford brand name and most of its luxury cars are sold under the name Lincoln.
32% stakes are held by Ford in Jiangling Motors, 8% stakes in UK’s Aston Martin and the SUV manufacturer from Brazil named Troller is owned by Ford. The company has joint ventures in Ford Sollers of Russia, Ford Otosan of Turkey, AutoAlliance Thailand of Thailand, Ford Lio Ho of Taiwan and Changan Ford of China.
According to the 2015 vehicle production, Ford is the second-largest automaker company based in the United States, the first being General Motors, and the fifth-largest company in the world, behind Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia and General Motors. The Ford family still holds 40% voting rights in the company and has recovered from the verge of bankruptcy that it was facing at the start of this century.
How It All Started-
Henry Ford first attempted to start his own car company under the name Henry Ford Company on 3rd November 1901, which later turned into Cadillac Motor Company on 22nd August 1902, after Ford quit taking the rights to his name with him. A year later the Ford Motor Company begun in a converted factory with $28,000 from a dozen investors including Horace and John Dodge. Local banker John S. Gray became the first president of the company as investors feared that Henry Ford would desert this company just like its predecessor. Only a few people were employed in the beginning for manual assembling of car parts that were mostly produced by suppliers who were contracting for Ford.
Henry Ford was only 39 years old when he laid the foundation of Ford which later went on to become one of the largest and most profitable motor companies in the world, with control being under the family for over a century. In order to increase affordability of automobiles for the middle class people, Ford made important contributions like driving the introduction of the first moving assembly line at the company’s factory in Highland Park in 1913 which marked one of the greatest contributions to have ever been made in the world of automobiles by an auto-maker company.
Gradual Growth of Ford Motor Company-
After the young Henry Ford led to the formation for Ford Motor Company, it had to do good work to keep its position as one of the largest automakers worldwide safe. Between the years 1903 and 1908, Ford Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R and S were produced and only a few hundreds to thousands were sold annually. After Model T was introduced in 1908, its popularity grew rapidly and millions of it was sold over more than 2 decades. Next in line was the Model A with safety glass installed in its windshield and the low-cost car with a V8 engine was launched in 1932. In 1922, Lincoln Motor Company was purchased by Ford to keep up with big brand names like Packard and Cadillac.
The seeds of industrialization were planted in 1929 when the Soviet Union government contacted Ford for setting up Gorky Automobile Plant in Russia. The year 1964 saw Ford making history with its introduction of SQUID or superconducting quantum interference device. As the 21st century kicked in, a faltering economy teamed with higher fuel prices and legacy healthcare costs led to diminished profit margins, declining sales and falling market shares.
On 2nd June 2008, Land Rover and Jaguar operations were sold to Tata Motors by Ford for $2.3bn. On 29th October 2012, announcement for sale of Ford’s climate control components business to Detroit Thermal Systems LLC was made.
Marketing Strategies and Campaigns-
Like all other automobile companies, Ford uses a variety of geographic, demographic and psychographic segmentation variables to suit and cater to the ever-changing and altering needs and requirements of the customers and consumers of the industry. To achieve this goal, the company makes use of differentiated targeting and marketing strategies like when it comes to Ford products, all are localized and manufactured keeping in mind the concepts of local driving conditions, putting emphasis on less maintenance costs, durability, fuel efficiency and safety of the environment.
It has automobiles- ranging from luxury cars, economy cars and sports cars to vans, station wagons and trucks- to suit the likes of all kinds of people. The all new Ford Fiesta targets the younger generation and women in particular. The prices of Ford vehicles remain low as strategists establish pricing policies by constant evaluation of investment returns via sponsorship deals. The company envisions combination of factories which are highly updated with efficient work force, low costs and located at strategic regions so that all possibilities are welcome.
Manufacturing plants, hence, are situated at 6 out of 7 continents with dealers and factories spread all across the globe. In order to promote and highlight itself, Ford maintains links with many sporting events like the UEFA Champions League, in addition to visually promoting itself through visual media like television and internet.
The company also puts itself on the radar by frequent launch of campaigns. The ‘Built Ford Proud’ ad campaign launched late-2018, for example, highlighted the innovation and manufacturing might of the company ahead of onslaught of brand new cars being released this year. The storytelling campaign launched by Ford was aimed at reaching customers emotionally and with the help of humour.
Other campaigns include the #ForDetroit campaign that had the goal of encompassing the investments made by Ford in the American city of Detroit through the promise to revitalize the iconic Corktown neighbourhood and Michigan Central Station, driving the futures of automotive industry, local community and beyond.
The story of how Ford Motor Company was born, how it became hugely popular, how it almost came to an end and then managed to survive the crisis, growing into what it is today, is the stuff of fairytales. The story of how founder Henry Ford helped his company reach and achieve its current market status is nothing but incredibly inspiring. The only hope is to see the brand name grow into a bigger symbol than it already is worldwide through the use of intelligent marketing and advertising strategies.