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The next time you are out on the road or in a supermarket parking lot, take note of all of the Ford vehicles you see. Ford is as American as baseball and apple pie, and this revered company has had a rich and interesting history. And to think, it all began with one man.

Henry Ford founded the company in 1903 with $28,000 from several investors. His greatest innovation at the time was the assembly line method, which was borrowed from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations over a hundred years before.

The assembly line method consists of interchangeable parts being applied in a sequential order, so that all models are the same. Its application allowed Ford cars to be made in a quick and efficient manner. It also made it more affordable.

The Model T was the first car advertised to the middle class. Those who previously could never afford cars were now able to due to the Model T’s lower sales price, which can be attributed to the assembly line. It was introduced in 1908 and was produced until 1927. By that year, over 15 million Model’s T had been produced. However, this would only be the beginning.

Over the years, Ford has earned many awards and recogntions as well as distinctions. Did you know the family bearing the company name has had ownership of the company since its inception? Or that the motor company has had a stake in many different auto companies, including Volvo and Jaguar.

Here are five other facts you may not know about the venerable car company.

  1. In an international poll, the Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century.
  2. In 1993, it seemed like everyone drove Ford cars. In fact, the Detroit-based company accounted for five of the top eight cars bought that year.
  3. The 2008 Escape was the first car that used 100 percent recycled fabricĀ seating.
  4. This year, Kelly Blue Book named the Fiesta one of the coolest carsĀ under $18,000.
  5. Since 1974, the Detroit company has donated over $7.3 million to veterans, including a recent announcement of a $200,000 grant to Disabled American Veterans.

Today, Ford vehicles are more popular than ever. While the company struggled in the second half of the 2000s due to a global recession, it has bounced back in a big way. Some of the most popular models include the economical sub-compact, Fiesta; the compact model, Focus; the cross-over SUV, Escape; and the ubiquitous family sedan, Taurus.

These are just several of the many Ford cars out there. As the company continues to expand its efforts towards green initiatives and better user-experience, its 110 year old tradition of innovation should continue into for 110 more.

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