The Ford Motor Company
Founded by Henry Ford in 1903, the Ford Motor Company is one of the largest car makers in the world. Ford opened the first assembly line warehouse in Detroit, MI – Ford became famous for its innovative assembly line manufacturing, which allowed the company to produce cars exponentially faster than before.
Currently, the American car company manufacturers its automobiles in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, China, Germany, Turkey, and South Africa. Ford also manufactures cars under the brand names Lincoln and Mercury. The company also holds shares in car brands Aston Martin and Mazda.
In March 2008, Ford sold car companies Land Rover and Jaguar for $2.3 Billion to Tata Motors.
Ford produces economy cars and trucks, SUVs, sports cars, touring cars, buses, and tractors. The company’s top competitors include Toyota and GM.
Ford is working to become a more environmentally conscious company. The company is creating and producing both fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles. In 2005, Ford introduced the Hybrid-Electric Escape; with 2006 came the Mercury Mariner; and in 2008 both the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. In 2009, Ford will introduce the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.
In 2007, Fortune Magazine ranked Ford the 7th American-based company in the world based on the company’s 2006 revenue. Also in 2007, Ford received more Initial Quality Survey awards from J.D. Power and Associates than any other car manufacturer.
Because of high fuel prices and the declining economy, most of Ford’s current profits come from financing consumer car loans through the Ford Motor Credit Company.
In 2006, Advertising Age Magazine estimated that Ford’s advertising spending was around $2.9 Billion – making it the 6th largest advertiser in the world that year.
Ford is one of the four manufactures in NASCAR’s three largest series: Nationwide Series, Sprint Cup Series, and the Craftsman Truck Series.
In 2005, Ford was one of 53 companies to donate the maximum amount of $250,000 to George W. Bush’s second inauguration.
In 2006, Ford released a TV advertisement titled “Rebirth” at the same time that the company announced its six year plan to close 14 factories. The 30 second advertisement described Ford’s new plan for future growth. The ad was risky for Ford because while it spoke towards future success, it reminded consumers of Ford’s current problems.
Also in 2006, Ford introduced its well-known Bold Moves campaign. One advertisement featured a woman paying for her dry cleaning and “boldly” paying for the man’s behind her too. The campaign was aimed at a younger audience – which was the campaigns downfall. While Ford’s younger target audience is interested in bold products, Fords products are not as bold as their advertising message; Because of this the campaign strengthened Ford’s brand image, but did not sell any more cars than before.
In 2007, Ford released a campaign that compared the Ford Fusion to Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord. Ford also aired the campaign “Swap Your Ride” where consumers test drove a Ford for a week and then gave their opinion.
Ford created a similar campaign in 2008 titled “Drive One.” The campaign focused four messages: Drive Green, Drive Safe, Drive Smart, and Drive Quality.
In January of 2008, Ford created a new website that revolves around “Built Ford Tough.” Ford.com has approximately 11 Million visitors each year.