Ford Motor Company through the Ages

3199 Words13 Pages
The Ford Motor Company (FMC) was founded in Detroit in 1903 and began shortly thereafter exporting cars to European branches. Cross-border assembly started in Canada in 1904 and was later implemented in the European markets. The first European plant was established in 1911 in England, and this was followed with other lower volume assembly plants across the European continent. All the plants and branches assembled and sold the Model T, using American methods and practices. This proved to be a success in the beginning, but in the long run, “(…) this proved a costly and unsuccessful strategy in Europe’s diverse markets” (Bonin et al., p. 15). By the late 1920s most of its European subsidiaries were struggling and Ford had to change his…show more content…
“Ford chose to have its first dealer in Stolp, a rural city, far from major city centres, in the former Prussian province of Pommern (today Poland).” (v2 152-153). This area was economically, socially, and geographically comparable to areas in the United States where the Model T sold very well. Rural areas with large farms, whose owners had money at their disposal, and needed means of transportation since they were isolated from the cities, characterized the region. “However, at the time the car was not really faster or more comfortable than a traditional horse coach. The automobile was more of an instrument of social distinction.” (v2 153). Ford expanded its operations in Germany in 1905 and created a showroom in Berlin to advertise its brand and later opened an office in 1911. In 1912 Ford built a distribution center in Hamburg because of its attractive harbor and its ideal location for cross-boarder distribution in Europe. This rapid expansion since 1905 ended in 1914, when the First World War started. When Ford first advertised the Model T in Germany, it was described as “good value for money and durable” (v2, p. 153). In the beginning, however, the cars were rather unreliable and this created an image problem and Ford needed to change its direction and advertisement in order to satisfy costumer expectations and needs. “By the 1910s, Ford automobiles represented good value for
Open Document