On this day in auto history – April 10th

Sat 10th Apr 2021

It was on this day in 1944 that Henry Ford II - grandson of the legendary Ford founder - was named vice president of the Ford Motor Company in a historic move which eventually saw him gain overall control of the American behemoth.

Henry II’s father Edsel - President of Ford since 1919 - had recently died of stomach cancer, paving the way for ailing founder Henry Ford to reassume the presidency against the wishes of the company’s board of directors.

With the company losing around £10 million per month - a staggering amount in the 1940’s - Henry II left the Navy and was fast-tracked into management, eventually succeeding his then-senile grandfather as president in 1945.

Under his aggressive management style, Ford reversed its fortunes dramatically by introducing iconic vehicles such as the Thunderbird and in 1956 the company became a publicly traded corporation, giving the company the resources to reach out internationally on a huge scale.

Henry Ford II died aged 70 in 1987.