Commit these compelling Ford facts to memory and use them as sales tools to gain the trust of customers
Many car salespeople in the U.S. consider it an honor to sell Ford vehicles. As one of the first automobile companies in the country, the Ford Motor Company embodies the American Dream and had a hand in changing the world. Even if you prefer other vehicle brands, you can’t help but respect the Ford legacy.
If you have a particular Ford vehicle you want to get off the lot, or if you just like knowing as much as possible about the brand you’re selling, it helps to have a few interesting Ford facts in your back pocket to share with customers. If a customer is on the fence about buying, learning impressive facts and trivia about the company could be just what they need to open their wallets and close the deal.
Henry Ford: Facts about the founder and the company’s early history
Henry Ford was born in 1863 and grew up on a farm in Dearborn, Michigan. He worked as a machinist and ran his own sawmill until he was hired as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company. During his time there, he worked on building a gasoline-powered horseless carriage (aka, an automobile) and a “quadricycle,” which was a light metal frame with four bicycle wheels and a two-cylinder, four-horsepower gasoline engine.
Ford sold the quadricycle, received backing from investors, and in 1903, established the Ford Motor Company. His first car was the Model A, but the first reliable automobile created to be affordable for everyone was the Model T; the Model T made its debut in October 1908.
More quick Ford facts that might surprise you
1. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were good friends.
They first met in 1896 when Ford worked as a chief engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company. Between 1914 and 1924, they toured the Eastern U.S. in Ford automobiles on well-publicized camping trips. When Edison died, his son gave Ford a test tube that contained Edison’s “last breath.”
2. As of 2015, Ford is the fifth largest family-owned business in the world.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford.
3. The Model T’s nickname was the “Tin Lizzie.”
It was also known as “the flivver” and came in one color – black.
4. Charlie Brown’s first TV appearance was in a 1963 Ford commercial.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” followed quickly on the heels of this successful ad.
5. Ford standardized the moving assembly line to cut production time and costs.
He also increased daily wages from $2.34/nine hours of work to $5/eight hours of work; this set the standard for the entire industry.
6. A Chicago dentist, Ernst Pfenning, bought the first Ford.
Pfenning bought a two-cylinder Model A with a tonneau (backseat) for $850.
7. In 1965, Ford collaborated with the Empire State Building and displayed a 1966 Ford Mustang on the skyscraper’s observation deck.
To get the car to the 86th floor, Ford had to cut it into four pieces that would fit in the building’s elevator. Mechanics reassembled the car once all the pieces arrived safely on the observation deck.
8. Ford trucks have a long life.
In 2011, Ford shared the story of Gary Mueller, a retiree who drove his 2002 Ford F-350 Super Duty over 1,020,000 miles (and counting).
9. Ford isn’t just cars — it also manufactured airplanes during World War I.
Henry Ford said he’d never fly, but after being the first passenger on Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis,” he changed his mind. The company mass produced Liberty aircraft engines and torpedo engines during the first World War and purchased the Stout Model Airplane Company in 1925 (he renamed it the Ford Airplane Manufacturing Division).
10. Ford is one of four auto brands with vehicles that regularly average over 200,000 miles.
If you have a Ford full-size truck or SUV, your chances of having that vehicle pass 200,000 miles are about two and a half times the industry average.
11. The Ford Mustang debuted in 1964.
The following Christmas saw sales of 94,000 pedal-powered toy Mustangs.
12. To challenge Ferrari, Ford designed and built the 1964 GT40.
It won four straight 24 Hours of Le Mans races between 1966 and 1969.
13. Ford Motor Company started in 1903.
The classic blue oval logo, however, didn’t make an appearance until 1927.
If you have some free time, read up on the history of the Ford Motor Company and how it’s managed to hold its position as a world auto leader for over 100 years. Make an effort to learn Ford facts and facts about the other vehicle brands you sell — beyond all the bells and whistles of the newest models. This will place you in a better position to improve your monthly numbers and increase customer satisfaction.