Coming close to ruin, Ford’s stubbornness was a harsh lesson learned.
Here’s an interesting fact about the legendary Henry Ford and the equally-important Model T car of the early 1900s; Henry Ford did not want to make a car after the Model T and this almost led the company to financial ruin.
Known today as someone who was essentially the founder of the car industry, Henry Ford was in fact totally focussed on perfecting the Model T to the point of obsession. Introduced in 1908, the Model T was probably the greatest achievement in car manufacturing history. It was the first affordable automobile and transformed the way regular people got from A to B and also introduced the world to the concept of moving assembly lines. Produced from 1908-1927, around 15 million Model Ts were sold, a sales figure that is still impressive by today’s standards, nevermind 100 years ago.
Now, for a car to be produced for 19 years is a very long time now and even back in the early 1900s, it was a long time. While the Model T was going steady, competition quickly crept in offering innovations that Henry Ford seemed to have little interest in.
Henry’s son, Edsel, had to consistently fight to convince his father to produce the Model A and move on from the outdated Model T.
Ford was optimised so severely around the production of the Model T that when it came to producing the Model A, it took around six months and $250 million to retool the factories, scrapping around 40,000 tools that were specific to producing Model Ts.
It is said that were it not for the decision to finally move onto the Model A, Ford may have just failed completely as a company due to the sheer stubbornness of Herny Ford.
Other interesting facts about Henry and Edsel include that he was awfully tough on Edsel, sabotaging his efforts in several instances. From him belittling him in front of other employees and executives to him undoing Edsel’s work at the company, it is known that the two did not have the best relationship.
Some even say this abusive relationship towards his son is what led to his poor health later in life, dying at age 49 in 1943 as Ford went on to prosper, likely thanks to, at least partially, Edsel’s input.
Let us know what you know about Ford’s interesting history, in the comments!
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