The Franklin Institute Logo
Case Files logo

Henry Ford: Revolutionizing the Auto Industry/Industrial Leadership, 1928

Industrial Community

With his reputation established, Ford's interest turned to lightweight conventional automobiles and he partnered with Alexander Malcomson, a Detroit coal dealer. In 1903, their company, the Ford Motor Company, embarked on the mass assembly of runabout automobiles—all parts production being contracted out to a variety suppliers. They became part of a Detroit-based industrial community that included such companies as Olds, Dodge, and Cadillac.

At its inception, the company had around $50,000 in capital and twelve stockholders. The company survived some difficult circumstances: insufficient funds, slow stock sales, and bank bailouts, but by the end of the year had achieved net profits of over $36,000 and expanded rapidly.