‘Henry Ford Day’
Celebrations at Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn headquarters in the USA have been complemented by a special proclamation by the state of Michigan declaring the day of his birth (30th July) which was one hundred and fifty years ago ‘Henry Ford Day’.
The anniversary of his birth is being commemorated in countries around the world throughout this year, some of the events include; Dealers in 21 Asia Pacific markets have launched Ford Heritage month, transforming showrooms into exhibitions on Ford’s rich history, Ford of Germany marked the occasion with a series of five road rallies that celebrated Ford’s numerous automotive breakthroughs over the last 110 years, more than 4,000 people attended community events held by Ford in Romania and in Great Britain, celebrations were capped by the reveal of a restored statue of Henry Ford at the company’s UK Tech Centre.
Henry Ford initially struggled to get Ford Motor Company on solid financial footing, but broke through with the Model T. The iconic vehicle debuted in October 1908, opening a new era in America. More than 15 million Model T’s were built and sold as Ford Motor Company put the nation on wheels. The Model T was the first low price automobile equipped with a 20-horsepower four cylinder engine with a top speed of around 45 miles per hour, it was capable of 13-21 miles per gallon. At the time it was described as a reliable car that was easily maintained and could withstand the poor and uneven roads.
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said “what my great-grandfather established, especially his legacy of innovation continues to inspire our commitment to a strong business, great products and a better world. We are putting unexpected levels of technology within reach of millions of people, accelerating the development of new products that customers want and value, and driving growth by creating jobs and bringing the freedom of mobility to the world.”
Henry Ford’s spirit of innovation continues to guide Ford Motor Company today, reflected in a lineup of vehicles as diverse as the F-150 pickup, Mustang sports car and Fusion Hybrid sedan. It lives on in technologies such as Ford SYNC, the company’s in-vehicle infotainment system, and fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines. Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947, at 83. More than 50 years after his death, in 1999, Forbes magazine named him “Businessman of the Century,” and in 2012 a History Channel documentary highlighted him as one of “The Men Who Built America.”
Walking home after an early dinner in London I happened to look at a plaque on the wall of a house on George Street and I read a very true saying “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” Henry Ford. He was a very clever man but he was also a very wise one.