The Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury brands, Ford also owns Volvo Cars in Sweden, and a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata Motors of India in March 2008. Ford has agreed to sell Volvo to Geely Automobile in a deal expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2010.
Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines. Henry Ford's methods came to be known around the world as Fordism by 1914.
Ford is currently the fourth-largest automaker in the world based on number of vehicles sold annually, directly behind Volkswagen. In 2007, Ford fell from second to third in US annual vehicle sales for the first time in 56 years, behind only General Motors and Toyota. However, Ford occasionally outsells Toyota in shorter periods (most recently, during the summer months of 2009). As of 2008, Ford has become the second largest automaker in Europe (only behind Volkswagen), with sales that occasionally exceed those in the United States and large markets in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Ford is the seventh-ranked overall American-based company in the 2008 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2008 of $146.3 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide. Starting in 2007, Ford received more initial quality survey awards from J. D. Power and Associates than any other automaker. Five of Ford's vehicles ranked at the top of their categories and fourteen vehicles ranked in the top three.
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