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Henry Ford launched the Ford Motor Company in 1903, with the help of twelve investors. Initially, Ford only created a couple of cars a day from its factory in Detroit, which were hand-built by groups of only two or three men. Parts for Ford vehicles were mostly supplied by contractors. Despite these humble beginnings, Ford would go on to be one of the pioneering forces in the automotive industry, conceiving and refining the concept of assembly line construction.Ford’s contributions to modern automobiles is very extensive, and his influence can be credited to many innovations used today. In 1908, Ford introduced the first engine with a detachable cylinder head (in the Ford model T). The viability of cheap production methods in order to make affordable vehicles for the middle-class was low before the intervention of Ford. In 1913, Ford implemented the first moving assembly line. Other innovations include windshield safety glass, rear seatbelts, child-proof door locks and the first retractable hardtop vehicle.In the 1980’s, Ford introduced a number of very successful vehicles around the world. This trend continued on into the 90’s, with the strength of the American economy and low fuel prices contributing to their success. Ford still continues to be one of the most profitable companies globally, with a reach that has expanded even further due to the acquisition of British brands Jaguar and Aston Martin.
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