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Henry P. Ford founded the automotive company that bears his name in 1903. Today, Ford is one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the world and the Ford marque is the best-selling brand in America.
Five years after it was founded, Ford introduced one of its most important models ever — the Model T. The Model T transformed the industry as it was the first mass-produced model manufactured. Some 15 million Model Ts were assembled. In 1927, it was succeeded by the Model A, with millions more vehicles built.
Early on, Ford established itself in a number of areas, building its first pickup truck in 1917. In the 1920s it developed the first commercially successful V8 engine. In 1948, Ford released its F-Series line of pickup trucks, the forerunner of today’s Ford F-150 line. In 1949, Ford introduced its first line of vehicles, which set the tone for the next decade. In 1954, the Ford Thunderbird was introduced, a distinctly styled two-door coupe.
The 1960s was arguably a transformative decade for Ford as it released its Mustang sport coupe in 1964. That model helped Ford reach young buyers like no vehicle before it. Today, the Mustang is an icon that has remained in production for more than a half century.
The top product for the brand in the 1980s was the Ford Taurus, a midsize sedan that quickly became the best-selling car in America. Ford also extended its hold on the truck market, introducing the truck-based Explorer in 1990 followed by the Expedition and Excursion.
By the time Ford celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003, the brand was composed of models small and large, including the compact Focus, the Escape utility vehicle and both its F-150 and Ranger pickup trucks.
In 2008, Ford adopted a strategy whereby the company introduced multiple European-designed models to the US market, including the subcompact Fiesta, an all-new Focus, and a hybrid C-Max. The company also expanded its utility vehicle offerings to include the Edge and Flex lines. Two new van lines — Transit Connect and Transit — were also rolled out. The Ford Fusion took over the midsize segment and the Ford Taurus became the brand’s flagship sedan.