Diversity & Inclusion

Ford Revolutionizes the Workplace

On October 1, 1908, Ford Motor Company introduced the Model T, generally regarded as the first affordable automobile and the car that industry experts say “put America on wheels.” The first Model T, produced for the 1909 model year, was assembled by hand and sold for $850. The demand for the cars was so high that Ford started producing them on an assembly line, which revolutionized the modern workplace by enabling the company to turn out a Model T every 10 seconds.

Here are some facts from the U.S. Census Bureau about the Model T and the American auto industry that it helped create.

  • In 1905, there were 79,000 registered vehicles. By 1925, near the end of the Model T’s run, there were 20.1 million registered vehicles, including 17.5 million passenger cars.
  • There were 181,000 passenger cars manufactured in 1910. Ten years later, the number was 1.9 million.
    In 2006, there were 244.2 million motor vehicles registered in the United States in 2006. About 134 million of them were cars.
  • In 2006, there were 933,768 workers employed in the auto industry in 2006. Of these, 577,728 made parts, 150,284 worked on bodies and trailers, and 205,756 were in the assembly plants.
  • The auto industry’s annual payroll is $48.3 billion. That works out to $51,715 per employee.
  • The value of shipments (motor vehicles and parts) in 2007 for the nation’s auto industry was $480 billion.
  • In 2006, Michigan continued to be the undisputed industry leader among the states in employees (36,796), payroll ($2.9 billion) and shipments ($49.9 billion) in motor vehicle manufacturing.
  • There were 20,770 franchised new-car dealerships in the United States in 2007. This number was down from 24,825 dealers in 1990.
  • Franchised new-car dealerships made $693 billion in sales in 2007. Sales included 7.6 million new cars and 18.5 million used cars.
  • In 2007, there were 1.1 million employees at franchised new-car dealerships.
  • Excluding those who worked at home, 90% percent of workers in 2006 traveled to work in a car, truck, or van.
  • Among workers who used a car, truck or van to get to work, 45% percent’s commute took less than 20 minutes. For 14 percent, the commute lasted 45 or more minutes.
  • The estimated revenue in 2006 of the nation’s automotive repair and maintenance businesses was $87.6 billion.

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