US motor manufacturer. He was a pioneer of mass production and had a profound influence on the widespread use of motor vehicles. In 1909 Ford produced his famous Model T, of which 15 million were made over the next 19 years at gradually reducing prices due to large-scale manufacture, a succession of simple assembly tasks, and the use of a conveyor belt. He went on to produce a cheap and effective farm tractor, the Fordson, which had a great effect on agricultural mechanization. Control of the Ford Motor Company passed to his grandson, Henry Ford II (1917–87), in 1945 and is now a huge multinational corporation. Among the first Henry Ford's philanthropic legacies is the Ford Foundation (established 1936), a major charitable trust.
Subjects: History — Management and Management Techniques.