Automobile Production And Ford Essay Research Paper

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Automobile Production And Ford Essay, Research Paper Automobile Production and Ford Most people think of Henry Ford as the man who invented the automobile, but his influence on the American society and economy was far greater and will last for all time. Ford changed the face of the nation and set the stage for the entrepreneurs of today. He helped develop the infrastructure for automobiles, including roads and gas stations. He set a minimum wage for his workers. He shortened the workday and, most importantly, he created a successful assembly line for automobile mass production, eliminating the primitive hand-built process. He helped to create this nation’s middle class and acted to allow the workingman to realize some dreams. Although Ford was an autocrat, he believed

firmly in the “little guy.” The automotive industry is one of great historical importance worldwide. On a global scale the combustible engine serves a number of purposes. Generating power from a combination of fuel, air and fire, the engine can power just about anything from the most powerful trucks to modest lawnmowers. The concept of the combustible engine has changed very minimally throughout history. The innovations have come in the forms of new materials, technological advances and processes by which these engines could run more efficiently. In today’s automobiles the technical aspects are countless, the crank start ignitions of yesterday were quickly replaced with electric starters. We can also include on-board computers as possibly one of the greatest advancements in

the automotive industry, not forgetting to mention all the other modern features from fuel injection to air-conditioning all the way down the line to cup-holders. Cars today have become so complex that prices can be found in a wide spectrum. Aside from refueling, it is practically impossible to maintain and repair vehicles without a number of specific parts and tools. The manufacturer of that particular make of car usually standardizes these parts and tools. In 1905, there were more than 50 companies each year trying to break into the automobile business; most of them did not succeed. Ford did. He had financial backers who believed the way to maximize the company’s profits was to build cars for the rich, but Ford had another idea: he believed the workers who built the cars

should be able to afford to buy one themselves. He thought those workers should be able to take their families out for a spin in their cars on Sunday afternoons. Ford resisted his backer’s demands and followed his own beliefs and eventually just bought out his investors’ interests so he could run the company exactly as he thought it should be run. That move made Ford the “father of the 20th century American industry.” The model T that rolled out of the plant in 1908 was called the “everyman car.” It was elegant in simplicity and it was a dream for everyone (Iacocca, 1998; p. 76). Ford initiated industrial mass production in his auto plants but his interest was in mass consumption (Iacocca, 1998). Ford said, “Mass production requires mass consumption, which means

higher wages” (Foster, 1988: p. 14). His philosophy was simply this: if everyone earned a decent wage and he produced more cars in less time for less money, everyone in the country would buy his cars. One of the actions Ford took in 1913 to actualize his vision was to increase the minimum daily wage of workers to $5.00 from $2.34 for a 9-hour shift, which was the average in the auto industry. He also reduced the workday to 8-hour shifts. The Wall Street Journal called Ford’s action “an economic crime” because no one could make that much money without a significant amount of training or education. Critics worldwide called it “Fordism,” not meant as a compliment. Ford lowered his costs of building each car so much, that the wages did not really matter, in fact, the