Main article: History of Ford Motor Company
The Ford Motor Company was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge (who would later found their own car company). Henry's first attempt under his name was the Henry Ford Company on November 3, 1901, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902. During its early years, the company produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car from components made to order by other companies. Henry Ford was 40 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world's largest and most profitable companies, as well as being one to survive the Great Depression. As one of the largest family-controlled companies in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 100 years.

Brands and marques

Today, Ford Motor Company manufactures automobiles under several names including Lincoln and Mercury in the United States. In 1958, Ford introduced a new marque, the Edsel, but poor sales led to its discontinuation in 1960. Later, in 1985, the Merkur brand was introduced to market Fords from Europe in the United States; it met a similar fate in 1989.
Ford has major manufacturing operations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, the People's Republic of China, and several other countries, including South Africa where, following divestment during apartheid, it once again has a wholly owned subsidiary. Ford also has a cooperative agreement with Russian automaker GAZ.
Ford acquired British sports car maker Aston Martin in 1989, but sold it on March 12, 2007,retaining a small minority stake, and Volvo Cars of Sweden. In November 2008 it reduced its 33.4% controlling interest in Mazda of Japan, to a 13.4% non-controlling interest It shares an American joint venture plant in Flat Rock, Michigan called Auto Alliance with Mazda. It has spun off its parts division under the name Visteon.
Ford sold the United Kingdom-based Jaguar and Land Rover companies and brands to Tata Motors of India in March 2008.
Also in 2008, Ford Motor is in negotiations with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation to sell its Volvo cars division.
Ford's FoMoCo parts division sells aftermarket parts under the Motorcraft brand name.
Ford's non-manufacturing operations include organizations such as automotive finance operation Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford also sponsors numerous events and sports facilities around the US, most notably Ford Center in downtown Oklahoma City and Ford Field in downtown Detroit.
Overall the Ford Motor Company controls the following operational car marques: Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Volvo Cars.
In 2008 the Lincoln-Mercury brand dropped on the American Customer Satisfaction Index list to 83, from 86 in 2007.

Environmental initiatives and alternative propulsion systems

Ford announced in late 2008 July that it will bring six of its more fuel-efficient European models to the U.S.
Compressed natural gas
The alternative fossil fuel vehicles, such as some versions of the Crown Victoria especially in fleet and taxi service, operate on compressed natural gas—or CNG. Some CNG vehicles have dual fuel tanks - one for gasoline, the other for CNG - the same engine can operate on either fuel via a selector switch.
Flexible fuel vehicles
See also: Flexible fuel vehicle
Flexible fuel vehicles are designed to operate smoothly using a wide range of available ethanol fuel mixtures—from pure gasoline, to bioethanol-gasoline blends such as E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) or E100 (neat hydrous ethanol) in Brazil. Part of the challenge of successful marketing alternative and flexible fuel vehicles in the U.S., is the general lack of establishment of sufficient fueling stations, which would be essential for these vehicles to be attractive to a wide range of consumers. Significant efforts to ramp up production and distribution of E85 fuels are underway and expanding.
Ford is also planning to produce 250,000 E85-capable vehicles a year in the US, adding to some 1.6 million already sold in the last 10 years.
Current Ford E85 Flexible Fuel Vehicles sold in North America and Europe are:
Ford F-150
Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Focus
Ford C-MAX
Ford Mondeo
Ford S-MAX
Ford Galaxy
Ford Taurus
Ford Ranger
Ford Explorer
Ford Expedition and EL/Max
Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
Current Ford E100 Flex sold in the Brazilian market are:
Ford EcoSport
Ford Fiesta
Ford Focus
Ford Ka
Electric vehicles
Main article: Electric vehicle
Ford Motor Co. expects electric vehicles will represent a "major portion" of its lineup a decade from now as the automaker breaks away from a recent reliance on pickup trucks and SUVs. The stakes are high because Ford's stepped-up investment is coming at a time when the U.S. government is demanding steep increases in fuel economy and has put money forward to help automakers adopt new fuel-saving technologies.

Hybrid electric vehicles

Main article: Hybrid electric vehicle
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.[19][20]
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 challenge the Chevy Volt by 2012and 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


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