Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata Motors of India in March 2008. In 2010 Ford sold Volvo to Geely Automobile. Ford discontinued the Mercury brand after the 2011 model year. The company is controlled by the Ford family, which owns a controlling stake in Ford Motor.
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. Henry Ford's methods came to be known around the world as Fordism by 1914.
Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker and the fifth-largest in the world based on annual vehicle sales in 2010 (after Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen AG, and Hyundai Motor Group). 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. During the automotive crisis, Ford's worldwide unit volume dropped to 4.817 million in 2009. In 2010, Ford earned a net profit of $6.6 billion and reduced its debt from $33.6 billion to $14.5 billion lowering interest payments by $1 billion following its 2009 net profit of $2.7 billion. Starting in 2007, Ford received more initial quality survey awards from J. D. Power and Associates than any other automaker. Five of Ford's vehicles ranked at the top of their categories and fourteen vehicles ranked in the top three.
In 2004 both Ford and Toyota agreed on a patent sharing accord which granted Ford access to certain hybrid technology patented by Toyota, in exchange Ford licensed Toyota some of their own patents.
Ford did improve fuel efficiency during 2005, with the introduction of the Hybrid-Electric Escape. With this vehicle, Ford was third to the automotive market with a hybrid electric vehicle and the first hybrid electric SUV to market. This was also the first hybrid electric vehicle with a flexible fuel capability to run on E85. The Escape's platform mate Mercury Mariner was also available with the hybrid-electric system in the 2006 model year—a full year ahead of schedule. The similar Mazda Tribute will also receive a hybrid-electric powertrain option, along with many other vehicles in the Ford vehicle line.
In 2005 Ford announced its goal to make 250,000 hybrids a year by 2010, but by mid-2006 announced that it would not meet that goal, due to excessively high costs and the lack of sufficient supplies of the hybrid-electric batteries and drivetrain system components. Instead, Ford has committed to accelerating development of next-generation hybrid-electric power plants in Britain, in collaboration with Volvo. This engineering study is expected to yield more than 100 new hybrid-electric vehicle models and derivatives. There are also plans for hybrid versions of the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.
Ford announced on 2007-07-09 that it will team up with Southern California Edison (SCE) to examine the future of plug-in hybrids in terms of how home and vehicle energy systems will work with the electrical grid. Under the multi-million-dollar, multi-year project, Ford will convert a demonstration fleet of Ford Escape Hybrids into plug-in hybrids, and SCE will evaluate how the vehicles might interact with the home and the utility's electrical grid. Some of the vehicles will be evaluated "in typical customer settings", according to Ford.
On June 12, 2008 USDOE expanded its own fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles with the addition of a Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid Flex-Fuel Vehicle. The vehicle is equipped with a 10-kilowatt (13 hp) lithium-ion battery supplied by Johnson Controls-Saft that stores enough electric energy to drive up to 30 miles (48 km) at speeds of up to 40 mph (64 km/h).
In March 2009 Ford launched to the U.S. market the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Mercury Milan Hybrid, both as 2010 models.
Ford is going to introduce a plug-in hybrid to challenge the Chevy Volt by 2012 and more charge-maintaining hybrids (traditional gas-electric hybrids), beginning with one in 2011.
Current and planned Ford hybrid electric vehicles:
2004– Ford Escape Hybrid
2006– Mercury Mariner
2009– Ford Fusion Hybrid/Mercury Milan
2009/10– Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX
Main article: All-electric vehicle
Ford ended the Think City experiment and ordered all the cars repossessed and destroyed, even as many of the people leasing them begged to be able to buy the cars from Ford. After outcry from the lessees and activists in the US and Norway, Ford returned the cars to Norway for sale.
Bill Ford was one of the first top industry executives to make regular use of an battery electric vehicle, a Ford Ranger EV, while the company contracted with the United States Postal Service to deliver electric postal vans based on the Ranger EV platform..Ford discontinued a line of electric Ranger pickup trucks and ordered them destroyed, though it reversed in January 2005, after environmentalist protest.
The North American Focus EV is based on next generation Focus fuel vehicle, converted to an electric propulsion system as a Production EV by Magna International, and is planned to be launched in late 2011. Ford plans to have 10,000 Focus EVs on the road beginning in late 2011 in partnership with Magna International and it will be a global vehicle that will be sold in the three key markets of North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Focus EV has a maximum range of about 160 kilometers or 100 miles, and a top speed of about 120+ kilometers or 75+ miles per hour.
Current and planned Ford electric vehicles:
2010 All-electric Transit Connect
2011 All-electric small car in late 2011 (Ford Focus EV).
2013 C-MAX Energi coming fall 2012
Ford battery electric vehicle (BEV) demonstrators are included in a British project that is part of the UK government's zero carbon vehicle fleet of Focus BEVs. The BEV demonstrator fleet is being developed partly with public funding from the government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2 while benefiting the UK's transport system.
Ford also continues to study Fuel Cell-powered electric powertrains, and has demonstrated hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine technologies, as well as developing the next-generation hybrid-electric systems. Compared with conventional vehicles, hybrid vehicles and/or fuel cell vehicles decrease air pollution emissions as well as sound levels, with favorable impacts upon respiratory health and decrease of noise health effects.
Ford has launched the production of hydrogen-powered shuttle buses, using hydrogen instead of gasoline in a standard internal combustion engine, for use at airports and convention centers. At the 2006 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford showcased a hydrogen fuel cell version of its Explorer SUV. The Fuel cell Explorer has a combined output of 174 hp (130 kW). It has a large hydrogen storage tank which is situated in the center of the car taking the original place of the conventional model's automatic transmission. The centered position of the tank assists the vehicle reach a notable range of 350 miles (563 km), the farthest for a fuel cell vehicle so far. The fuel cell Explorer the first in a series of prototypes partly funded by the United States Department of Energy to expand efforts to determine the feasibility of hydrogen- powered vehicles. The fuel cell Explorer is one of several vehicles with green technology being featured at the L.A. show, including the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, PZEV emissions compliant Fusion and Focus models and a 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty outfitted with Ford's clean diesel technology.