While Henry Ford was the first to mass-produce automobiles, his efforts did not necessarily yield the desired results. While his Model-T was a big success, the company suffered because Ford stayed too long with its basic design, resulting in an unsatisfying customer experience. The Tesla Motor Company is the latest example of this, as the company recently announced that it will sell its Model 3 electric cars to Hertz. A base price of $40,000 puts each car on the market in excess of $4 billion.
If we compare Henry Ford and Tesla founder Elon Musk, it is clear that the two have much in common. Both men were short-term thinkers who strayed from their original visions. Henry Ford took the Ford Motor Company private in 1919, and the company returned to public ownership in 1956. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, is the only American carmaker without a UAW contract. In addition to ignoring unions, he also uses aggressive tactics that have caused him to run into trouble with the NLRBT.
Henry Ford was a vertically integrated automaker, and Musk’s company is looking to do the same. Ford had a massive factory on the Rouge River that combined a steel mill and electricity plant. It also possessed a steel mill that was fully integrated with the manufacturing process. Although Musk is the Henry Ford of the electric car market, he has been involved in several projects with the Ford Motor Company. It’s no coincidence that Ford has been so successful.
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