Ford Motor Corporation

The Ford Motor Company (commonly referred to as simply Ford) is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford owns a Brazilian SUV, Troller, and Australian performance car manufacturer FPV. In the past, it has also produced tractors and automotive components.

Ford owns a 2.1% stake in Mazda in Japan, an 8% stake in Aston Martin in the United Kingdom, and a 49% stake in Jiangling in China. It also has several joint ventures, two in China (Changan Ford Mazda and Ford Lio Ho), one in Thailand (AutoAlliance Thailand), one in Turkey (Ford Otosan), and one in Russia (Ford Sollers).

It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership. Forbes describes it as “the most important industrial company in the history of the United States.”

Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914, these methods were known worldwide as Fordism. Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.

Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker (preceded by General Motors) and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2010 vehicle sales. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe.

Ford is the eighth-ranked overall American-based company in the 2010 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2009 of $118.3 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide. The company went public in 1956, but the Ford family still retains 40 percent voting rights through special Class B shares.

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