Why did Ford stop making tractors? This article explores Ford’s impatience with farm inefficiency and his inspiration from Henry Ford’s homestead. In addition to the reasons why the company decided to stop manufacturing tractors, we also learn about Ford’s death and why Henry Ford was a source of inspiration for him.
Henry Ford’s homestead as a source of inspiration
The homestead of Henry Ford was a rich source of inspiration for the invention of the Ford tractor. His grandfather built tractors on the family farm, and Henry Ford often referred to it as “the factory.” In 1891, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, to pursue his dream of building a car. He studied different tools and machines to learn how to build cars. In addition, Henry Ford was interested in engines, and read about Otto’s internal combustion engine. Otto had an internal combustion engine that gathered power from a gas explosion inside a cylinder. It was one of the first internal combustion engines, and several other Americans thought about constructing a similar engine for their cars.
As a child, Henry Ford was fascinated by the operation of farm machinery and saw many machines. By the age of thirteen, he began to repair watches and saw other machines. He later went on to create the Fordson tractor, which was both lightweight and inexpensive. The Fordson tractor evolved from the Ford model T car, which was designed to improve rural life.
While Henry Ford was working on his homemade engine, other men were also working on gas engines. Ford also became curious about horseless carriages at a fair in Chicago. He read the newspapers, and even visited Daimler and Benz to see their wagons. The Chicago Times-Herald even put a $5,000 prize on a horseless carriage race.
Henry Ford was an American businessman and a socialist. He believed in workers’ control over their own businesses. He also believed in the idea of workers controlling their own government. He was an ambitious and determined businessman, but he was also stubborn and had strong opinions about his company, employees, and the United States as a whole.
The Ford family homestead is still a place of historical significance. In the early 1800s, Henry Ford’s ancestors came to Ireland from England. They lived for a while in Cork City, Canada, and eventually settled permanently in Dearborn, Mich. Henry Ford was born in Dearborn in 1863 and would go on to create a global automotive empire.
Henry Ford’s death
It was almost 80 years ago when Henry Ford stopped making tractors. The company was losing money and Henry Ford had suffered several heart attacks and strokes. He was also described as suspicious and mentally unstable. At the time of his death, Ford was the de facto leader of the company, having convinced the board of directors to make him CEO. It was estimated that the company was losing more than $150 million per year.
After Henry Ford’s death, the Ford Company challenged the gentleman’s agreement between him and Ferguson. Ford agreed to reimburse Ferguson $9.25 million for patent infringement, and would no longer produce Ferguson’s tractors. The company’s income in the United States dropped by $59 million in one year. The company also had to rebuild its dealer network from scratch, which cost the company a lot of money. The Ferguson company responded by filing lawsuits against Ford for patent infringement and destruction of business, which dragged on for four years.
Aside from making cars, Ford’s innovation also transformed the American economy. Before Ford, cars were considered a luxury for the upper class, but now the average man could afford them. The company sold millions of cars, including the Model T. The Model T was originally expensive, but by the time it was re-released in 1927, the price was only $280. Today, a Ford Model T would cost around $3,000, which is equivalent to about $199,000 in 1927 dollars.
In 1893, Henry Ford was convinced that he could build a horseless carriage but had no knowledge of electricity. He went on to become a chief engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. He later became a famous car maker with his first model, the Quadricycle. This car had four wheels instead of two, and was so noisy that it frightened horses. Henry Ford eventually sold the Quadricycle to raise money for an improved version.
Henry Ford’s life was not without drama. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan, nine miles from Detroit. His father was an Irish immigrant who fled Ireland after a disastrous crop failure. He spent his early childhood working on a farm. Then, he decided to study at Goldsmith, Bryant & Stratton Business University in Detroit, where he took classes in mechanical drawing, bookkeeping, and general business practices.
Reasons for Ford’s decision to stop making tractors
Ford’s decision to stop making tractors has various reasons. In the early 20th century, prices for a Fordson tractor ranged from $800 to $395. In the United Kingdom, Ford’s production of tractors started in Ireland and was later moved to the U.K. However, the company decided to stop making tractors in the U.S. in 1928. The company wanted to have a decisive competitive edge in the U.S. tractor market and moved production to England and Europe.
In 1919, the first Ford tractor was sold in the US. It featured the three-point hitch that was developed by Ferguson. Later, in the 1960s, Ford combined its tractor manufacturing operations with Sperry-New Holland, which led to the creation of the Ford-New Holland brand. In 1988, Ford-New Holland acquired Versatile, another company that sold tractors. In 1999, Ford’s tractor division was sold to Italian company Fiat. Ford and Fiat agreed to stop using the name Ford by 2000. New Holland agreed to remove the Ford name on their blue tractors and rebranded the Ford tractors as “New Holland.”
In the same year, Henry Ford, a former farmer, published a letter in the leading farm journal in Chicago. In it, he explained that the company was selling tractors to Harry Ferguson at a price lower than its production cost. The article emphasized the company’s desire to focus on its automotive business and return to its roots.
In 1948, Ford introduced a new tractor, the 8N, with brakes on the right side. The tractor also had hydraulic three-point hitches and a draft-sensing position. The company sold 521,000 of these tractors. It was a great tractor.
During this time, Ford’s Rouge factory was more than a thousand acres. The factory made nearly everything that Ford made during this time. With few middlemen, the company was able to keep costs low. This increased profitability allowed for Ford to purchase Lincoln Motor Company, which was struggling financially.
Henry Ford was considering a comeback in the tractor market in the late 1930s. He began working on a prototype tractor with a single large drive wheel. It did not perform as well as Ford’s expectations, but it did satisfy his desire to simplify the tractor and keep its cost low.