From the early 1900s that saw the release of the first mass production vehicle available to the public, the popularity of Ford cars has grown massively. The company is now one of the largest car manufacturers in the world
With over 100 years of history, Ford is not only one of the oldest vehicle manufacturers in the world, it is also one of the most popular and successful global brands of its time. Amazingly still a family owned business, the company was started by Henry Ford, who famously said of his Model T car that it was available in any colour as long as it was black.
In its illustrious history, the company has produced over 300 models of vehicles ranging from cars and vans to buses and tractors with the names spanning different models as they have evolved throughout the years.
Names such as the Fiesta and Escort sold in the millions and the Fiesta is still in production today, although it is barely recognisable from its first incarnation back in the mid Seventies. The mid Eighties saw Ford dominate the UK market with sales of over 150,000 Fiestas beaten only by the slightly larger Escort.
The Fiesta being the most successful Ford car ever is reinforced by its position at the top of the list of the most popular cars in the UK today, closely followed by the Escort’s successor, the Ford Focus, at number two.
The company has built its success on the mass production of vehicles at an affordable price with a reputation for reliability. Its market positioning and advertising has been built around this with commercials often depicting family life.
With the UK car market shifting to a 4×4 culture, Ford responded by releasing the Kuga in 2008 and it has been hugely successful.
Aside from the car market, the company has found success in almost all areas of automobile production and nowhere is this more evident than in the small commercial van market. Since its introduction in the 1960s, the Ford Transit has consistently been the most successful van of its genre.
More sporting versions emanating from the Ford factory included the Ford Capri, further popularised in the hit UK television series of the 1970s – The Professionals. In this programme, the two main characters worked for CI5 and put the Capri through its paces in pursuing their targets in some thrilling high speed chases.
In the early Eighties, the Ford Escort and Sierra models were given the sports treatment through the Cosworth editions. These were high speed road cars bred for rallying that became synonymous with boy racers (who could afford them) for a good many years.
The next hundred years
With such an illustrious history and healthy appetite for development and improvement, Ford cars should be around for the next hundred years at least.
This guest blog was written by Caroline Short, an expert in Ford cars.