You probably know Henry Ford founded Ford Motors over a century ago.
Does the Ford family still own and run the company?
The Ford family became popular with the establishment of the Ford company by Henry Ford, the head of the family. Since then, the family has owned shares in the company and managed common stock, even until now. Non-family members also own controlling shares in the company.
Common stock is the regular stock people buy to invest in a company.
Who Exactly Owns the Ford Company?
Presently, there are three major shareholders in the Ford Company: William Ford, Mark Fields, and Joseph Henrich.
Here’s how they can afford so many shares:
1. William Clay Ford, Jr.
William Clay Ford Jr is the highest shareholder with 6.8 million shares.
Being a member of the Ford family, his heritage gives him an advantage. On June 19, 2013, the Ford family bought about 3.7 million Class B shares, some of which were transferred to William. Class B shares allow owners to elect 40% of the board of directors. Because of this event, William owns 8.1 million Class B shares.
In July 2019, William Ford bought 840,962 shares to cater for the fall in earnings the company faced that month. Ford was once the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company, which gives him so much earning power.
Currently, William Ford is the Chairman of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
2. Mark Fields
With 1.8 million shares, Mark Fields is the second-highest shareholder in the Ford company.
Fields used to be the CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation and the American operations of the Ford Motor Company. He joined Ford in 1989 and became CEO of the company in 2014.
Field left the position in 2017 and was succeeded by Jim Hackett.
3. Joseph Henrich
According to the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing in 2017, Joseph Henrich owns 645,155 worth of shares in Ford.
That makes him the third-highest shareholder in the company.
Henrich manages the departments of Global Product Development, Sustainability, Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, and a few others.
Before Ford, Henrich used to serve as the President of the Americas for Ford Motor Co.
Is the Ford Company Still Owned by the Ford Family?
The Ford Family only partially owns the Ford Company.
Non-family members like Joseph Henrich and Mark Fields now own major shares in the company. This is not to say that the Ford family does not own major shares in the company.
William Ford Jr., a great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford company, is the highest shareholder in the company.
The Ford family also owns 70 million of the Class B shares, a set of shares that give them 40% voting power over the board of directors. This means that they can stay in control of the company, except it goes bankrupt.
Even in the event of liquidation, the class B shares allows them to walk away with more money than regular shareholders.
Who Owns the Most Stock in the Company?
William Clay Ford Jr., the great-grandson of Henry Ford, owns the highest shares in the company.
Although Ford became a member of the executive board in 1988, he wasn’t named chairman till 1999. The chairman also served as CEO and COO of the company, before giving the roles up to Alan Mulally in 2006.
Apart from buying shares from the company to prevent its bankruptcy, William Ford has also actively contributed to the company’s development. He spearheaded an advancement in the fuel efficiency of the brand’s models in 2000.
Some fuel-efficient models like flexible-fuel vehicles and alternative-fuel vehicles were added to the brand’s lineup with William Ford’s help.
You may also like to read our article about Ford & Mercury Differences
Is Ford Still American or British?
Ford is still American. However, it has broadened its shores to nations outside America, Britain inclusive.
The company was founded by Henry Ford in Detroit, USA, in 1896, where it manufactured and sold commercial and personal vehicles. It wasn’t until 1903 that the first Ford vehicles were imported into Britain. In 1911, the first factory outside the U.S. was established in Trafford Park in the U.K.
More plants were opened in the U.K. in places like Dagenham, Halewood, and Bridgend. Ford soon became the United Kingdom’s largest car manufacturer. In 2002, the British brand of the Ford Motor Company was forced to stop production after the demand for cars fell.
However, it still makes engines in Dagenham and Bridgend, United Kingdom. The engines are exported to the European Union, where they are assembled. Later, the ready-made cars are shipped back to the U.K. to be sold.
Today, the Ford Motor Company in Britain might not build cars, but it is still the best-selling car brand in the U.K. The Fiesta model has the largest sales, with about 1,233,485 units sold since 2009.
Who Owns Ford Dealerships?
Ford dealerships are owned by private individuals.
However, the Ford Motor Company retains the right to end the dealership if it cannot generate good sales.
The first Ford dealership was owned by a man independent of the Ford company. William Hughson was already involved in the sales of bicycles and carriages before he struck a deal with Ford to be his supplier.
Also, Hughson’s dealership was not exclusive to Ford vehicles. He also had Mercury and Lincoln vehicles in his inventory.
To open a Ford dealership, there are certain steps you need to take.
- Research: To become a Ford dealer, you have to pass a compulsory dealer-certification exam. After that, you need to find the appropriate location for your business. Then, you need to contact Ford in case of extra requirements concerning the location.
- Write a Business Plan: Your business plan should contain the structure of the dealership, foreseen expenses, expected income, publicity strategies, and intended location. Remember to proofread your business plan because you’ll need to submit it to investors.
- Source for Investment: To run a successful dealership, you’ll definitely need investment. This is because the average dealership requires millions of dollars to operate. You are more likely to get approval for your application if you have the money ready.
- Write your Application: After taking the steps listed above, you can send in your application. As soon as your application is approved, you must sign legal documents to show your consent to Ford’s terms. One of these terms is Ford’s right to discontinue the dealership if it accrues low sales.
How Rich Is the Ford Family?
A Forbes publication on January 7, 2015, shows the Ford family was the 115th richest in the world. Then, the family had a net worth of $2 billion.
Some of the richest family members are William Clay Ford Jr. & Edsel Ford II, great-grandsons of Henry Ford. William Clay Ford Jr. has a net worth of $1 billion dollars. His cousin, Edsel Ford II, is worth $500 million dollars.
William Ford Jr. heads the board of directors at Ford. He has served in several departments in the company, including Product Development, Finance, and Climate Control. The expert business tycoon also functioned as the President and CEO of Ford, before giving up the roles to Alan Mulally, a former Boeing president.
Edsel Ford II was once the President and Chief Operating Officer of Ford Motor Company. He is also on the board of directors at Ford. Some businesses he owns include Pentastar Aviation, Ryder Group, and Market Associates. Edsel is also the former chairman of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, Detroit chapter.
The other Ford family members are not as rich as William and Edsel.
However, the shares they own and the stocks they control will keep them rich even in the event of liquidation of the Ford Motor Co.
Are the Ford Family Members Still Involved in the Company?
Yes, they are.
One of the great-grandsons of Henry Ford Sr., William Clay Ford Jr., leads the board of directors at Ford. Another great-grandson, Edsel II, is also on the board.
Elena Ford, the granddaughter of the founder, Henry Ford, also works at the company. She has worked in departments such as Sales Support, Product Management, and Marketing at the company. She is the current vice-president of the Customer Experience department at Ford.
The other living members of the Ford family own Class B shares in the company. These shares give them the right to elect 40% of the board of directors into power.