- Ford Motor Co.
U.S. automotive corporation.Founded in Detroit, Mich., in 1903 by Henry Ford and a group of investors, the company introduced the hugely successful Model T in 1908 and by 1923 was producing more than half of all U.S. automotive vehicles. Through the Lincoln Motor Co. (acquired in 1922), Ford produced luxury Lincolns and Continentals. After years of declining sales, the Model T was succeeded by the Model A in 1927; other companies such as General Motors took the opportunity to make serious inroads into Ford's dominance. The company was reincorporated in 1919, with Ford and his family acquiring full ownership. Henry's son Edsel served as president 1919–43, and Henry's grandson Henry Ford II led the company 1945–79, reviving its fortunes considerably. Its stock was first publicly traded in 1956. Ford acquired the British automaker Jaguar in 1989–90, bought the rental car company Hertz Corp. in 1994, and purchased the automobile division of Volvo in 1999. Later acquisitions included Aston Martin and the Land Rover brand of sport utility vehicles. Ford also owns a significant share of the Mazda Motor Corp. The company manufactures passenger cars, trucks, and tractors as well as parts and accessories.
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