1903 - 1923
June 16, Henry Ford and 11 investors sign the Articles of Incorporation for his car company. The cars would be built in a converted wagon factory on Mach Avenue in Detroit.
July 20, Ford Motor Company sells its first car, a Model A, to a Detroit physician.
The Ford Model A is advertised as "The Boss of the Road". For $850 Americans can purchase the 110.5 cubic inch eight horsepower Ford.
First dealership opens in San Francisco.
First President was not Henry Ford. The distinction goes to a man named John S Gray, a Detroit banker who was one of the companies original investors' He was president from 1903-06.
Barely more than a year after its 1st global step, Ford Motor Company of Canada opens in Ontario in August 1904.
Ford Motor Company expanded to Spain.
Oct 1, Ford introduces the Model T (destined to be one of the world's most popular cars).
In the 19 years of the Model T's existence 15,500,000 were sold in US, almost 1,000,000 more in Canada and 250,000 in Great Britian a production total amounting to half the automobile output in the world. The Model T was the chief instrument of one of the greatest and most rapid changes in the lives of common people in history, it contributed to the development of urbanisation and highway systems.
The cost of a Model-T decreased over the years 1910-11 $780 / 1911-12 $690 / 1912-13 $600 / 1913-14 $550 / 1914-15 $360.
Ford Motor Company opens its' first overseas sales branch in Paris. Within 10 years the company is selling throughout Europe/SA and Asia.
Assembly begins in Kansas City Assembly Plant.
Fords' first overseas assembly plant opened in Manchester, England.
Oct 7, the world's first moving automobile assembly line begins operation at Ford's Highland Park (Michigan) Plant.
Ford Motor Company global signs contracts to sell Model T in China, Indonesia, Siam and Dutch East Indies.
Assembly line, mass production and economies of scale helps Model T production meet demand. Innovations that influenced the very structure of society.
June 5, the $5 pay for eight-hour day announced at Model T Plant in Highland Park (replacing $2.34 for nine hours); attracts thousands of job applicants.
Dec 10, the one-millionth Ford car was built.
Ford Motor Company opened plant in Buenos Aires.
Henry Ford Hospital admits its first patients.
Sept 4, Henry Ford II was born to Eleanor and Edsel Ford.
Production begins on the one ton Model T chassis. Ford's first pickup truck.
Ford aids the war effort by supplying troops with cars and trucks.
Rouge River Plant, "Ford's industrial masterpiece" opens and reaches full capacity by mid 1920s. 1.5 miles long by .75 miles wide. "Here is the conversion of raw materials into cash in approximately 33 hours". A super factory, all in one industrial complex.
Jan 1, Edsel Ford succeeds Henry Ford as company president.
Ford Motor Company becomes the sole property of the Ford family.
Ford Motor Company bought Detroit-Toledo-Ironton railroad to provide transport for materials and supplies.
Safety has long been a concern of Ford Motor Company, starting with its production of safety glass for windshields.
Ford opens a 310-acre factory in Dagenham, a town in Essex, the location close to the River Thames offers major advances. In its 71-year history this manufacturing giant produced 10,980,368 cars, trucks and tractors.
Ford builds its ten millionth Model T.
Mar 14, Birth of William Clay Ford .
Ford Japan formed in Yokohama; this was closed in WWII.
In early days of aviation, pilots navigated only by map and compass and often had difficulty identifying the towns which they were flying over. Edsel Ford wrote to all Ford dealers in December, asking them to print the name of their towns on the roofs of their dealerships along with an arrow pointing North.
To promote commercial aviation reliability and safety, Ford Motor Company sponsored annual National Air Tours.
Ford introduced the Tri Motor Aircraft, called the "Tin Goose", increasing the use of commercial aviation.
One of Ford's most important European facilities was set up in Germany. This was known as the Cologne Plant.
May 28, Henry and Edsel Ford drive the 15-millionth Model T off the assembly line at Highland Park, officially ending Model T production. Total the world production of Model T reaching 15,458,781. The legendary Tin Lizzy remained sales leader until 1972.
Oct 27, production of a new Model A begins at Rouge Assembly Plant. The Model A replaces Model T as Ford's sole offering.
Oct 21, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison dedicate the Edison Institute (now called Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village) in Dearborn, Michigan, on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the electric light.
V Shaped flathead 8 cylinder engine introduced. Ford was not the first to create the V8 engine. They were however the first car manufacturer to successfully cast the engine block in one piece and mass-produce it.
May 16, Ford Rotunda opens in Dearborn. Built for 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair. It took 18 months to dismantle and rebuild as a visitor centre.
Ford Motor Company of New Zealand opens.
War time production: Vehicles 10,423.
Assembly and filling of 5,720,532 hand grenades
1,205,400 2" and 3" mortar bombs.
Ford phases out running boards, increasing room for front seat passengers.
Mar 1, Ford builds first general purpose (GP or "jeep") vehicle for US military at Rouge Plant.
World War II halts civilian car output; Ford shifts to total military production.
1943 - 1963
May 26, Edsel Ford dies at age 49.
June 1, Henry Ford re-elected company president.
April 10, Henry Ford II elected executive vice president.
June 28, last B-24 Liberator bomber built at Willow Run Plant. (Ford US built 8,600 bombers, 278,000 jeeps "Blitz buggies" and 57,000 aircraft engines).
July 3, Ford resumes production of civilian vehicles.
Sept 21, Henry Ford II named company president.
Fordson Major Tractor introduced into NZ.
First passenger car assembled since 1940 rolls off assembly line in New Zealand.
April 7, Henry Ford dies at age 83 at Fair Lane in his estate in Dearborn.
F-Series trucks introduced.
Pioneering in quality control thanks largely to the "Whiz Kids" (young executives hired mid 1940's) to revamp the company and established statistical quality control methods.
5000th Fordson Major Tractor assembled at Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
NZ introduce Five Star Consul and Zephyr. Introduction of 1951 Canadian V8 Custom.
Ford Motor Company first introduced automatic transmission and called it the Fordomatic. It featured 3 forward driving speeds and made many a timid driver more confident.
F-100 half ton pickup is introduced replacing the F-1.
In celebration of Ford's 50th anniversary a Sunliner paces the Indianapolis 500.
May 20, the Ford Research & Engineering Centre in Dearborn was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower via closed-circuit television from the White House.
June 16, Ford Rotunda closed to the public during World War II, reopens for the company's 50th anniversary.
A leader in safety research and development, Ford Motor Company conducts its first crash test.
Production of 100E Anglia and four door Prefect begins in New Zealand.
The debut of the Thunderbird saw a blend of striking design, comfort and sports car competence seduce the US public.
Jan 17, Ford Motor Company's stock went up for public sale.
Production of Mark II Consul and Zephyr in New Zealand.
Ford introduces factory 4WD to F-Series.
The Fairlane becomes the most luxurious of Ford's offerings.
Sept 4, public introduction of the Edsel, new medium-priced car.
Ford Motor Company established industries largest automobile leasing company, Ford Credit.
Nov 19, Ford announces it will discontinue Edsel car line. Lincoln-Mercury Division is reformed.
July 13, Ernest Breech resigns as board chairman, he is succeeded by Henry Ford II, who also remains president.
Nov 9, Robert McNamara elected company president.
Dec 12, President John F. Kennedy names Robert McNamara as secretary of defence, McNamara resigns as Ford president.
Oct 3, UAW calls first company-wide strike against Ford (ends Oct 20 - with a three year contract).
Ford Motor Company of New Zealand's 25th anniversary celebration.
Introduction of the Cortina in New Zealand.
Nov 9, fire destroys Ford Rotunda (total visitor attendance since opening in Dearborn in 1936, 18,019,340).
May 1, Arjay Miller elected company president.
1963 - 1983
April 17, Mustang is born after 18 months development. Price tag $2,320.96 (roughly as much as the Chevrolet Corvette). Mustang is the official pace car of the 48th Annual Indianapolis 500. A yellow convertible is the first Mustang to appear on the big screen.
Ford New Zealand purchases land in Wiri, Auckland.
New National Parts Depot opened in Auckland, New Zealand.
The mid engine GT40 race car begins production in Slough, England
Ford Motor Company proudly advertises Twin-1-Benn, its latest innovation to F-Series. Two independent front axles share the shocks and create a smooth ride on the road.
Hertz Rent-A-Car acquires 930 fastback and 6 GT350's for performance minded vacationer.
GT40's finish 1-2-3 at Le Mans the prestigious race in France.
Mar 1, one-millionth Mustang are built in less than two years from start of production.
Ford rates the 428 cid V8 Shelby GT-500 fastback conservatively at 355 horsepower. Enthusiasts hoist their Shelbys on autodynometers and get readings closer to 400 bhp. GT40's 2nd victory in a row at Le Mans.
Sept 6, UAW launches company-wide strike (ends Oct 22).
Feb 6, former GM executive Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen elected company president; Arjay Miller becomes vice chairman of the board.
Ford New Zealand introduction of the Escort.
New Zealand Ministry of Transport ordered 143 Zephyr patrol cars.
Visit by Henry Ford II to Auckland and Wellington Operations in NZ.
May 22, Henry Ford II and architect John Portman announce major office and hotel development on Detroit's riverfront, later named Renaissance Centre.
Ford New Zealand established new transmission and chassis manufacturing facility at Manukau City. Wiri Assembly plant is completed.
1st Falcon rolled off Wiri assembly line in New Zealand.
A surge in Mustang convertible sales as Ford announces the next generation will not be available with convertible option.
Jan 7, Edsel Ford II joins the company as product analyst.
First oil shock in New Zealand - Falcon production reduced.
Mk II Escort introduced in New Zealand.
Mar 11, Marian Heiskell becomes the first woman elected to the board.
60th Anniversary Ford Taurus.
July 27, Benson Ford, director and vice president, dies.
Sept 14, Philip Caldwell elected company president.
Oct 1, Henry Ford II resigns as chief executive officer; Philip Caldwell succeeds him.
Oct 15, William Clay Ford Jr joins the company as product planning analyst.
Mar 13, Philip Caldwell succeeds Henry Ford II as board chairman; Donald Petersen elected company president and chief operating officer.
Ford President establishes SV options - instrumental in developing Ford's role in racing and bringing performance technology to production models. Development of the GT40 was part of Henry Ford II's efforts to revitalize Ford Motor Company's image as a manufacturer of power products and the Le Mans victories certainly did the trick.
Ford New Zealand Alloy Wheel plant established in Wiri.
Dec18, Ford and Mazda establish Autorama, joint venture distribution channel for Ford products in Japan.
Feb 13, Ford and UAW reach historic agreement encompassing innovative labour-management concepts.
Oct 1, Henry Ford II retires as company officer and employee.
1983 - 2003
Ford New Zealand Alloy Wheel plant wins export award.
50th year celebration of Ford New Zealand.
Sept 29, Henry Ford II dies at age 70.
Dec 30, Hertz Corporation acquired for $1.3 billion by Park Ridge Corporation, formed by Ford and members of Hertz management.
Ford New Zealand restructured and relocated to Manukau City, Lower Hutt assembly plant closed.
Jan 14, Edsel Ford II and William Clay Ford Jr elected to board of directors.
Dec 31, worldwide earnings reach all-time high of $5.3 billion - highest to date for any automotive company.
Feb 28, Ford acquires Jaguar Cars for $2.5 billion.
Mar 1, Harold Poling succeeds Donald Petersen as chairman of the board: Philip Benton Jr elected company president.
Ford acquires 50% of Mazda Motor Manufacturing and renames the company Auto Alliance International.
Milestone Ford Taurus become first car produced in US with CFC free air conditioning.
Ford Motor Company established modern dealerships in mainland China, less than a year later Ford China operates Ford manufacturing and assembly.
US Ford Motor Company reached new heights when five of the country's eight top selling vehicles were Fords.
VANZ assembly plant achieves Q1.
Vehicle assembly begins in India. Mid 1990's FORDSTAR introduced as innovative satellite based distance learning system for dealership training.
F-Series becomes the worlds best selling nameplate in automotive history.
Sales and marketing office opened in Moscow to serve dealers in Russia.
250-millionth Ford vehicle assembled.
Closure of VANZ assembly plant.
F-Series named North American Truck of the Year by panel of 47 auto writers.
On the retirement of Alex Trotman, Ford Motor Company's first president from outside the US, the role was passed on to another man of the world, Jacques Nasser. A former Ford Australia president. Nasser transitioned to company president in 1999 from the role as Ford Automotive Operations President and Chairman of Ford of Europe. He retired from the company in October 2001, passing the torch of president and CEO to William Clay Ford Jr.
Ford establishes the Premier Automotive Group consisting of Aston Martin, Jaguar and Lincoln and later completes the purchase of Volvo Car and incorporates Volvo as part of the Premier Auto Group.
The Model T is named Car of the Century at the internationally attended gala in Las Vegas.
As Ford Motor Company approaches its 100th anniversary, a member of the Ford family again holds a top leadership position. William Clay Ford, Jr, a great grandson of Henry Ford, was elected chairman by the board of directors in January 1999 and then president and CEO in October 2001.
Ford Focus is the first vehicle to receive both North American Car of the Year and European Car of the Year awards.
Ford officially takes ownership of Land Rover from the BMW Group.
Ford Motor Company and Mazda NZ move to new headquarters adjacent to old VANZ assembly plant.
Sale of the Ford Alloy Wheel Plant in New Zealand.
Richard Matheson appointed managing director, Ford New Zealand