On this day in auto history - January 22nd

Fri 22nd Jan 2021

On this day in 1944, Henry Ford II - grandson of company founder Henry Ford - was elected vice-president of Ford in a move which would soon see him assume the company presidency at the tender age of just 25.

Due to the unexpected death of his father, Edsel, Henry Ford II had little grooming for the role and took over the company during a chaotic period in its history.

With a number of its European factories suffering significant war damage and with domestic sales in decline, Ford had been haemorrhaging up to $10 million per month.

However, under Henry’s aggressive stewardship, the company quickly became revitalised and was able to successfully restructure before becoming a publicly traded corporation in 1956.

He resigned the presidency in 1960 to become the company CEO until formally retiring from all positions after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 in 1982. He died of pneumonia in 1987 at the age of 70.

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