Horse-drawn carriages have their charm, but who really wants to spend all day clip-clopping across town when a car can do it much more quickly? Indeed, society truly owes a debt of gratitude to Henry Ford for helping to propel the modern automobile to the point where it could be made quickly and affordably. Although he wasn’t the world’s first car manufacturer (that honor is debatably bestowed upon Carl Benz, who in 1886 applied for a patent for a “vehicle powered by a gas engine), Ford is credited with taking vehicle production to heights never seen, or probably even imagined, before.
Much of Ford Motor Co.’s history is charmed, but it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses. A number of vehicles unceremoniously flopped in the marketplace, plus escalating prices and industry unrest have left Ford and other major manufacturers struggling to maintain a healthy bottom line. In 2009 Ford managed to sidestep bankruptcy (just barely), unlike fellow auto giants General Motors and Chrysler. They continue to stay in business by trimming the fat in unprofitable areas. In fact, 2018 saw an announcement that the company is phasing out passenger cars (except for two popular models) in North America, in favor of trucks, SUVs and the like. This is ironic, of course, because passenger cars are where the company got its start.
Ford revolutionized manufacturing and helped make Detroit the one-time industrial center of the world. How much do you know about the history of the Ford Motor Co.? Take this quiz to find out.