How Henry Ford Changed the World in 1908
The beginning of the 20th century marked a change in the way the world viewed cars. The Model T, an affordable vehicle that made its debut in Detroit in 1908, was at the forefront of the change. No longer were automobiles a luxury for the rich. Henry Ford's vision of providing every American with a car of their own came to fruition with the rough yet loving Model T.
The Affordable American Car
The Model T was a prototype of all models to arrive in the future. Clunky and imperfect, the vehicle is a far cry from the sleek, well-oiled machines of today.
The first Ford had a quaint 2-cylinder engine that delivered 8 horsepower. Dubbed the 'Tin Lizzie,' it was immediately successful with the blue-collar Americans. Merely 10 years after the Ford Motor Company opened its doors, nearly half of all four-wheelers in America were Model Ts.
In 1927, Ford ceased production of the Model T and moved on to produce the Model A, which had better braking and higher horsepower. Since 1908, Ford produced almost 15 million Model Ts, becoming the largest car company in the world.
Ford was primarily able to churn out models for cheap because of the assembly line. Before the Model T, vehicles were crafted individually by a team of workmen- a slow and excruciating process. With the assembly line, workers would piece together individual pieces and send them down the order, creating the final result.
Eventually, the assembly line could complete a Model T every 24 seconds. In a genius marketing strategy, Ford brought down the price of the Model T from $825 to $575, increasing sales and giving the motor company a 48% share in the automobile market.
Henry Ford did not invent cars or assembly lines; he perfected them. These upheavals transformed American society, then the world, by laying down the stepping stone for future inventions.
Ford vehicles are the result of a revolution that made cars affordable for the masses.