Some men leave an impact and legacy that changes the world. Today, vehicles are the most common form of transportation. According to the US Department of Transportation, over 276 million registered vehicles existed in the US in 2019. In addition, further research shows that 91.3 of US households have access to at least one vehicle. However, that wasn’t always the case. In the early twentieth century, most people viewed automobiles as a luxury for the rich. After all, they were unaffordable for the middle and lower class. However, that changed when Henry Ford came along.
Today, Henry Ford is a celebrated figure worldwide. Children grow up reading about his accomplishments. Car enthusiasts widely regard him as a visionary. Though, Ford didn’t achieve such acclaim overnight. It took years of hard work and dedication. Eventually, things changed when Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry. What he did transformed the world of automobiles, forever.
Henry Ford’s Entry into Automobile Manufacturing
Many people think Henry Ford invented the modern car, but that’s actually not true. Other people designed and manufactured cars before Henry Ford ever got into the market. Ford distinguished himself from others by identifying things manufacturers did well and perfecting them.
Henry Ford only started working on automobiles in 1896. Before those days, he was a farmer He worked on a farm until he was thirty years old, but Henry Ford never considered himself a farmer. His true interest was in technology and manufacturing. Henry Ford would in fact help other farmers with their machinery, fixing it for them and making them better. Soon, he would visit Detroit where he saw the Silent Otto.
The Silent Otto was a gasoline-powered device that didn’t move and Henry Ford saw future potential. He believed putting wheels on the Silent Otto would cause it to move.
The Detroit trip would serve as Henry Ford’s motivation to enter the automobile industry. Though, before doing so, Henry Ford needed to learn about electricity. This would cause him to join an electric power company in the city and by 1901, Ford began producing cars. Henry Ford produced the Model A in 1903 and the Model N in 1906. Though Henry Ford made great progress, he still hadn’t achieved his goal of building a cost-effective vehicle.
Revolutionizing the Automobile Industry
Henry Ford’s most significant contribution to the automobile industry came in 1908. Ford would introduce the Model T to the American market. The vehicle debuted at $825, resulting in Ford selling over ten thousand Model T units in the first year. However, Ford was interested in making the car more accessible to the average public. To do so, he needed to reduce the price further.
In 1913, Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry forever. He installed the first moving assembly line to mass-produce vehicles. Ford’s innovation dramatically cut the production time of automobiles from more than 12 hours to one hour and 33 minutes. Ford achieved this by breaking down the Model T’s assembly into 84 separate steps. He consulted Fredrick Taylor for assistance. Together, they assigned workers to perform just one step of the production process.
By 1914, Ford successfully lowered the Model T’s price to $575. The public responded favorably, and the vehicle’s sales soared. Ford would claim 48 percent of the automobile market share. Due to his innovative methods, cars are produced much more efficiently, and his transformational impact on the automobile industry are still followed by modern automobile manufacturers.