The Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit and is the world''s second largest automaker with approximately 350,000 employees, operating in more than 200 markets on six continents. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury brands, it also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK. Ford''s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata Motors of India in March 2008.
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. Henry Ford''s methods came to be known around the world as Fordism by 1914.
Ford is currently the second largest automaker in the U.S. and the fourth-largest in the world based on number of vehicles sold annually, directly behind Volkswagen Group. In 2007, the company fell from second to third in US annual vehicle sales for the first time in 56 years, behind only General Motors and Toyota. However, the auto giant occasionally outsells Toyota in shorter periods (most recently, during the summer months of 2009). By the end of 2009, Ford was the third largest automaker in Europe (behind Volkswagen and PSA Peugeot Citroën). Ford is the seventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2008 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2008 of $146.3 billion. In 2008, the company produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide. During the automotive crisis, Ford''s worldwide unit volume dropped to 4.817 million in 2009. Despite the adverse conditions, Ford ended 2009 with a net profit of $2.7 billion. Starting in 2007, Ford received more initial quality survey awards from J.D. Power and Associates than any other automaker. Five of Ford''s vehicles ranked at the top of their categories and fourteen vehicles ranked in the top three. Today, Ford Motor Company manufactures automobiles under several names including Lincoln and Mercury in the United States. Ford plans to discontinue the Mercury brand at the end of 2010.
Ford has major manufacturing operations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, the People''s Republic of China, and several other countries, including South Africa where, following divestment during apartheid, it once again has a wholly owned subsidiary. Ford also has a cooperative agreement with Russian automaker GAZ.
Ford India is currently the 8th largest car maker in India after Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Mahindra, Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota. Ford India began production in 1998 with its Ford Escort model, which was later replaced by locally produced Ford Ikon in 2001. It has since added Fusion, Fiesta, Mondeo and Endeavour to its product line. In India all Ford cars are made at Ford''s Rs. 1700 crore integrated manufacturing plant at Maraimalai Nagar, 45 kms. from Chennai. The plant, equipped with advanced manufacturing technology from Ford, covers 350 acres, provides employment to about 2,000 people directly and many more thousands indirectly and has a capacity to manufacture upto 100,000 vehicles per annum. Ford is a 6-Sigma company. Ford India discontinued Escort, Mondeo and Fusion, however, they continue to sell Ikon, Endeavour, Fiesta and Figo today.
On 9 March 2010, Ford Motor Co. launched its first made-for-India compact car the Figo. Starting at Rs. 349,900 ($7,690), the Figo is Ford''s first car designed and priced for the mass Indian market. As of July 2010, Ford India Private Limited (FIPL) has 167 dealerships across 97 cities in 21 states and 3 Union Territories of India. The company plans to expand to 200 dealerships by the end of 2010.