2011 Ford Escape
Ford Motor Company is an American auto manufacturer based in Detroit (Dearborn, Mich.) and was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Ford is the second largest automaker in the U.S. and the fifth-largest in the world based on annual vehicle sales in 2010.
In addition to making the Lincoln brand, the company owns stakes in several other vehicle-makers, including Mazda and Aston Martin. Ford once owned Jaguar and Land Rover, but those were sold to Tata Motors of India in 2008. In 2010 Ford sold Volvo to Geely Automobile. Ford discontinued the Mercury in 2010.
Besides its brands, Ford is equally known for its innovations in manufacturing, and founder Henry Ford is credited with developing the "assembly line" process that is standard in car manufacturing.
Ford has a detailed timeline on its website of its corporate history in the development of alternative fuels, its role in aerospace, and the origin of its Lincoln brand.
Ford brands have been mainstays of vehicle fleets since the very beginning. Automotive Fleet featured the specs for the Fairlane, Falcon, and Galaxie in our December 1961 issue (our second published). The Crown Victoria was a popular fleet vehicle for executives and law enforcement alike.
1986 Ford Taurus
The Ford Taurus, introduced in 1986 (photo, right), was a dominant car in the fleet industry since its introduction. Providing a mix of package, performance, and styling, Taurus was an icon in the fleet industry until its production was discontinued in 2006.