Henry Fords Model T Analysis

Sunday, March 6, 2022 8:55:43 PM

Henry Fords Model T Analysis

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Competing against Buick , Oldsmobile , Pontiac , Dodge , and DeSoto , Edsel was the first new brand introduced by an American automaker since the launch of Mercury. In the year leading to its release, Ford invested in an advertising campaign, marketing Edsels as the cars of the future. While Edsels would introduce multiple advanced features for its price segment, the launch of the model line would become symbolic of commercial failure. Ford Motor Company became a publicly traded corporation on January 17, , [4] and thus was no longer entirely owned by members of the Ford family. The company was now able to sell cars according to current market trends following the sellers' market of the postwar years. Marketing research and development for the new intermediate line had begun in under the code name "E car", [5] which stood for "experimental car.

The proposed vehicle marque would represent the start-up of a new division of the firm alongside that of Ford itself and the Lincoln - Mercury division, whose cars at the time shared the same bodies. Ford later claimed to have performed more than adequate, if not superior, product development and market research work in the planning and design of the new vehicle.

Its elegance, its engines, its exciting new features, make other cars seem ordinary. In November , the Edsel Division of Ford Motor Company was formed to establish a retail organization and dealer network, alongside Ford and Lincoln-Mercury the Continental Division had ceased to exist several months earlier. With a network of 1, Edsel dealers, Ford Motor Company now had approximately 10, dealerships between its three divisions, bringing it closer in line with Chrysler 10, dealers across four brands and General Motors 16, across six brands.

Edsels were introduced amid considerable publicity on "E Day"—September 4, They were also promoted by a top-rated television special, The Edsel Show , on October 13, but the promotional effort was not enough to counter the adverse initial public reaction to Edsel styling and unconventional build. After the launch date, Edsel was described as a "reborn LaSalle ," a General Motors brand that had disappeared in Ford also insisted that, in the Edsels, it had built exactly the "entirely new kind of car" that Ford had been leading the buying public to expect through its pre-introduction publicity campaign for the cars.

In reality, however, Edsels shared their engineering and bodywork with other Ford models, and the similarities were apparent once the vehicles were viewed firsthand. For its inaugural model year, Edsel introduced a seven-model product line, including four sedans and three station wagons. Sharing its body and inch wheelbase with Ford station wagons, Edsel offered the two-door Edsel Roundup and the four-door Edsel Villager and Edsel Bermuda. The Edsel model line offered multiple design features that were considered innovative for the time. The Edsel also integrated many elements of the Ford Lifeguard safety package into its design.

Along with optional seatbelts, the Edsel featured a deep-dish steering wheel, double-latched doors, and childproof rear door locks; [13] [14] the model line was among the first to introduce remote-operated trunk opening and self-adjusting brakes. In the first year, 63, Edsels were sold in the United States, and 4, were sold in Canada. Though below expectations, this nevertheless represented the second-largest launch for any new car brand to date, exceeded only by the DeSoto introduction in Its current whereabouts is unknown.

As the model year progressed and sales fell under expectations, multiple Edsel-only dealers closed or expanded their brand offerings with the encouragement of Ford Motor Company, including Lincoln-Mercury or imported Ford of Britain and Ford of Germany franchises. For the model year, Ford revised the market position of Edsel, slotting it between Ford and Mercury. While all Edsel sedans used a Ford body, their wheelbase was inches 2 inches longer.

In response to the widely negative response to the Edsel exterior, the exterior of the Edsel underwent a restyling to tone down its appearance. While the vertical center grille made its return following heavy revision , a redesign of the hoodline integrated the headlamps into a full-width outer grille visually lowering the hoodline. A similar revision of the rear fascia repositioned the taillamps. To further distinguish the Edsel from the Ford, the Edsel received its own roofline closer in line to the formal notchback designs used by Mercury. The Edsel interior dropped several features to increase its commonality with Ford. The push-button Teletouch transmission controls were withdrawn, alongside the rotating-dome speedometer, as Edsel introduced a slightly restyled version of the Ford Fairlane dashboard the optional climate control and fully padded dashboard returned [16].

For the model year, Edsel saw its model line reduced further, offering only the Ranger sedans, hardtop, and convertible alongside the Villager station wagon. Redesigned alongside the Ford , the Edsel was released with far more muted styling than its namesake. Sharing nearly its entire body with Ford, Edsel abandoned its trademark vertical grille in favor of a split grille similar to the Pontiac ; for the first time, a full-width front bumper was used. The four-door Ranger hardtop had no direct Ford equivalent, as it combined the roofline of the Fairlane with the doors of the Galaxie. In a design advance, the muffler was relocated from below the passenger compartment to the rear of the car, intended for better muffler protection and less heat and noise intrusion to the passenger compartment.

The Edsel was produced between October 15 and November 19, In total, 2, vehicles were produced at Louisville Assembly except for pilot prototypes. Ford announced the end of the Edsel program on November 19, However, production continued until late in November, with the final tally of 2, model year cars. Total Edsel sales were approximately ,, less than half the company's projected break-even point. In some newspaper markets, dealers scrambled to renegotiate newspaper advertising contracts involving the Edsel models, while others dropped the name from their dealerships' advertising entirely.

The company also issued credits to dealers for stock unsold or received following the announcement. Historians have advanced several theories in an effort to explain Edsel's failure. Popular culture often faults vehicle styling. Consumer Reports has alleged that poor workmanship was Edsel's chief problem. Marketing experts hold Edsels up as a supreme example of the corporate culture's failure to understand American consumers. Business analysts cite the weak internal support for the product inside Ford's executive offices. According to author and Edsel scholar Jan Deutsch , an Edsel was "the wrong car at the wrong time.

Edsels are most notorious for being a marketing disaster. The name "Edsel" became synonymous with the real-life commercial failure of the predicted "perfect" product or product idea. Similar ill-fated products have often been colloquially referred to as "Edsels". Ford's own Sierra model, which launched almost 25 years later, is often compared to Edsels owing to initial buyer antipathy to their perceived radical styling, even though, unlike Edsels, it ultimately became a sales success. Since the Edsel program was such a debacle, it gave marketers a vivid illustration of how not to market a product.

The prerelease advertising campaign promoted the cars as having "more YOU ideas", and the teaser advertisements in magazines revealed only glimpses of the cars through a highly blurred lens or wrapped in paper or under tarps. In fact, Ford had never test marketed the vehicles or their radical styling concepts with potential buyers prior to either the vehicles' initial development decision or vehicle shipments to their new dealerships.

Edsels were shipped to the dealerships under wraps and remained so on the dealer lots. The public also had difficulty understanding exactly what Edsels were, primarily because Ford made the mistake of pricing Edsels within Mercury's market price segment. Theoretically, Edsels were conceived to fit into Ford's marketing structure as a mid-price model, with the brand slotted in between Ford and Mercury. In their mid-range pricing, Edsel's Pacer and Corsair models were more expensive than their ostensibly more costly Mercury counterparts. Edsel's top-of-the-line Citation hardtop sedan was the only model priced to correctly compete with Mercury's mid-range Montclair Turnpike Cruiser model, as illustrated in the chart below.

Not only was Edsel competing against its own sister divisions, but model for model, buyers did not understand what the cars were supposed to be—a step above the Mercury, or a step below it. After introduction to the public, Edsels did not live up to their preproduction publicity, even though many new features were offered, such as self-adjusting rear brakes and automatic lubrication. While Ford's market research had indicated that these and other features would make Edsels attractive to them as car buyers, their selling prices exceeded what buyers were willing to pay. Upon seeing the price for a base model, many potential buyers simply left the dealerships. Other customers were frightened by the price for a fully equipped top-of-the-line model.

One of the external forces working against the Edsel brand was the onset of an economic recession in late Compounding Edsel's problems was the fact that the car had to compete with well-established nameplates from the Big Three, such as Pontiac , Oldsmobile , Buick , Dodge and DeSoto , as well as with its sister division Mercury , which had never been a stellar sales success. To make matters still worse, as a new make, Edsel had no established brand loyalty with buyers, as its competing makes had. Even if the — recession had not occurred, Edsel would have been entering a shrinking marketplace. Breech had convinced Ford management that the medium-priced market segment offered great untapped opportunity. At the time, Breech's assessment was basically correct; in , Pontiac, Buick and Dodge had sold a combined two million units.

Independent manufacturers in the medium-priced field were drifting to insolvency. Hoping to reverse its losses, Packard acquired Studebaker , which was also in financial difficulty. The board decided to stop production under the venerable Packard badge after The —58 Packards were little more than Studebakers badged as Packards also known as "Packardbakers". Attempting to capitalize on the emerging consumer interest in economy cars, American Motors shifted its focus to its compact Rambler models and discontinued its pre-merger brands, Nash and Hudson , after the model year. When DeSoto sales failed to rebound during the model year, plans were made in Highland Park to discontinue the nameplate by Sales for most car manufacturers, even those not introducing new models, were down.

Among domestic makes, only Rambler and Lincoln produced more cars in than in Customers started buying more fuel-efficient automobiles, particularly Volkswagen Beetles , which were selling at rates exceeding 50, a year [22] in the U. Edsels were equipped with powerful engines and offered brisk acceleration, but they also required premium fuel, and their fuel economy, especially in city driving, was poor even by lates standards.

Ford Motor Company had conducted the right marketing study, but it came up with the wrong product to fill the gap between Ford and Mercury. By , buyers had become fascinated with economy cars, and a large car like an Edsel was seen as too expensive to buy and own. When Ford introduced the Falcon in , it sold over , units in its first year.

Ford's investment in expanded plant capacity and additional tooling for Edsels helped make the company's subsequent success with the Falcon possible. By , the market for medium-priced cars had recovered, and this time, Ford had the right car; the Galaxie LTD. The LTD's success led Chevrolet to introduce the Caprice as a mid upscale trim option on its top-of-the-line Impala four-door hardtop. The name of the car, Edsel, is also often cited as a further reason for its lack of popularity. Naming the vehicle after Edsel Ford was proposed early in its development. However, the Ford family strongly opposed its use.

Henry Ford II declared that he did not want his father's good name spinning around on thousands of hubcaps. Ford also ran internal studies to decide on a name, and even dispatched employees to stand outside movie theaters to poll audiences as to what their feelings were on several ideas. They reached no conclusions. When the agency issued its report, citing over 6, possibilities, Ford's Ernest Breech commented that they had been hired to develop one name, not 6, Early favorites for the name brand included Citation, Corsair, Pacer, and Ranger, which were ultimately chosen for the vehicle's series names.

David Wallace , manager of marketing research, and coworker Bob Young unofficially invited freethinker poet Marianne Moore for input and suggestions. Moore's unorthodox contributions among them "Utopian Turtletop," "Pastelogram," "Turcotinga," "Resilient Bullet," "Andante con Moto" and "Mongoose Civique" were meant to stir creative thought and were not officially authorized or contractual in nature. By the instruction of Ernest Breech, who was chairing a board meeting in the absence of Henry Ford II, the car was finally called "Edsel" in honor of Edsel Ford , former company president and son of Henry Ford.

Even though Edsels shared basic technology with other Ford cars of the era, a number of issues caused reliability problems, mostly with the models. Reports of mechanical flaws with the cars surfaced, due primarily to lack of quality control and confusion of parts with other Ford models. Ford never dedicated a stand-alone factory solely to Edsel model production. The Edsels were assembled in both Mercury and Ford factories. The longer-wheelbase models, Citation and Corsair, were produced alongside the Mercury products, while the shorter-wheelbase models, Pacer and Ranger, were produced alongside Ford products.

Workers assembling Fords and Mercurys often found the task of assembling the occasional Edsel that moved down the line burdensome, because it required them to change tools and parts bins, then switch back to resume assembling Fords or Mercurys after completing assembly on Edsels. The workers were also expected to accommodate Edsel assembly with no adjustment in their hourly quota of Ford and Mercury production. Consequently, the desired quality control of the different Edsel models proved difficult to achieve, even when the Fords and Mercurys were satisfactorily assembled on the same lines. Many Edsels actually left the assembly lines unfinished.

Uninstalled parts were placed in the trunks along with installation instructions for dealership mechanics, some of whom never installed the additional parts at all. Some dealers did not even receive all the parts. In its test car, Popular Mechanics tested for these problems and discovered others, notably a badly leaking trunk during rain, and the odometer showing fewer than actual miles traveled. Undoubtedly, Edsel's most memorable design feature was its trademark " horsecollar " grille, which was quite distinct from other cars of the period.

According to a popular joke at the time, Edsels "resembled an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon", [25] while automotive critic Dan Neil cites the grille's vaginal appearance. Many others compared the grille's shape to a toilet seat. If it's not here, I don't have any info on it. And if you are trying to find out more about it, try the nearest auto museums or car collectors. Good luck. I just saw a hood ornament at an estate sale.

Any value there??? It's old; it's neat. It's a Frankenornament. I don't evaluate or assess, and I sure don't know enough to appraise. I recently aqquired a hood ornament. After hours of searching I still can't identify. Then you aren't done yet. Everything I know about them is posted right here. I'm not holding back that one secret that would tell you everything you wanted to know about the thing you found at a yard sale or swap meet, I simply am not that devious. If you want to know what the hell you have, then keep looking somewhere new until you figure it out.

It's not my homework, it's not my project. It's yours. Just aqquired a hood ornament, after hours of research. I still cant identify it. It looks like a devil with pointed ears and has a cape on. He has his thumb touching his nose. I have seen sevetal similar but no cape on. Just wondering if you'd heard of this I have two Chrysler Imperial hood ornaments You have mistaken me for a hood ornament expert. I am not. I simply posted a good ID guide to them. Then I dropped the mic The Jet Hood ornament that you have displayed as a Mercury Was the same designed also used with Mercury? I haven't any idea. I just posted a good ID guide, that's it. Until I find a better one on the internet, I'll leave it up. I haven't ever bought a book about them, and to get answers for what you're asking about, you'll probably need to.

Or, get to talking to an expert if you can either find one, or become one. I just want to let you know that the Hood ornament you have pictured as the Mercury is a GMC truck hood ornament, it was a dealer installed option. I didn't make this guide, I posted it to share with everyone who wants to try and identify the things they've found in garage sales, or the attic. It's got some mistakes, but, no one has mentioned where ANY other good visual guide is online. Six and a half years since I posted this, a million or more views, and NO ONE has ever mentioned any other online guide that is as good, or better.

Until someone makes a better one, I'll have to keep this posted for what good it CAN do, and hope that sooner or later all the errors are found, and reported, and someone can fix them on the next version. Gday bud ive recently cleaned out the old mans shed and found the hood in the 10th pic from the bottom in the bottom right corner its labeled as holden australia if you could tell me what car it came from it would be grate cheers bud. I have no information that isn't on that image. Sorry, you'll have to look that up yourself, it's not my homework.

I just posted the pages of hood ornaments in hopes they would help others, and I'm sorry they haven't helped you more, but it's not my mission to look up everyone's yard sale find and tell them what it's from. It's simple to find out what your piece came from, google australian hood ornaments, then google holden hood ornaments, then keep doing that, and searching and looking until you find a match. Or go to a car museum and ask them. Thanks for referencing my site Jane's Classic Car Photos! I just saw an aftermarket ornament the owner did not know about and so far I have been unable to document its origins.

It's a pretty detailed bird, like the Packard Cormorant but with far more detail. Wondering who might have some ideas on it. She asked me too. Looks like an aftermarket piece, JC Whitney type. The wings are together and the finish didn't fare well through the years, so my guess is low quality, aftermarket, and close enough to Packard or other factory pieces to sell in enough quantity to be worth making for a small company. She hit me up too. I told her the same thing I just told you. If it were a factory piece, it wouldn't take long to identify. All those factors are why I state clearly in my post title, and in the text in the post, "don't ask me, I don't know" and use the available resources to do your own homework.

I'm not trying to be mean, just trying to be clear that I've done all I can about a topic I know nothing about. People just won't be nice though, they ask anyway. I bet you get questions all the time too. What do you know about Radiator caps? Do you know where I can research those? Not much, I put it all on this post, and you can always google until you get your answers. I have looked through numerous posts and pics online and cannot find this hood ornament anywhere. It is on a rare Yellow Cab Company taxi. Is this the original hood ornament because if so it must be rare because I haven't been able to find a single one like it online? I don't know. Seriously, you sent a photo in email to me, and read my reply Awesome article, great info! I picked up a 51 Golden Gazelle and a 48 chevy ornament at an auction the other day.

Your post helped me identify them. Thanks for the hard work you put in compiling all this! Thanks, helps sort through the aftermarket garbage out there. Now, can you help me ID this You're welcome! I wish there was a more detailed and comprehensive online book of hood ornaments available, but not that I've heard of yet. Good evening. I have just recently obtained an old toy with an hood ornament that I am having a hard time identifying. Can you please help me. If you don't see it here, it might not be a hood ornament, and you say it's an old toy Take photos of it, and the post them on facebook, and ask around. Then, if that doesn't work, use those to do a reverse image search with google.

Hi, I don't know if this account is active or if this question is in your Wheelhouse. I have a large WW1 era lighter that has 2 very early [? I think they are quite rare,in 4 years I have only found 1 for sale and do not know if that price is accurate. Can you please steer me in the right direction or tell me their value? Thank you, I look forward to your response and expertise. To have intrinsic value, there must be a supply, and a demand. Didn't you learn that in gradeschool?

There are no lighters to supply a need for lighters with UNIC radiator badges. So, no demand? No value. No supply? Then really, it's not like you will ever find that one person in 7. Unless it's a Dunhill or Tiffany lighter. Jesse, this question was for someone I thought wanted to share their knowledge and help others. Have you ever seen anyone restoring their year old car and in need of parts? There are so few of these left I would think a person that makes a living selling car parts would want to be a steward of Antique car parts.

I would wish you a better day tomorrow but people like you will never be happy. What you "think a person that makes a living selling car parts would want" is of no concern to me, I don't care what you think or what those people do. I told you once don't ask me what your crap is worth. You're too self centered to understand I'm happier not hearing from you, I'm happy every day 'cause I'm doing what I enjoy.

I have an old rear of car emblem that I can't find any info. Can anyone help?. I did what I could to help, go look through hood ornament books and ask at car museums. Hello, I have a good ornament that is not on this list or in the pictures. If you would like, I can send a picture. There are little photos of it on google, but hopefully from my description of it being Mercury with his arm and hand flat out pointing forwards that you could understand why there are not that many surviving pieces as such. If your still around I would like to know your thoughts. I could only find one online for sale and quickly bought it up and have had it restored. No others have been up for sale since. Sure, send me a couple photos! I'll post them! I have a hood ornament was wondering what its from where can I send a picture.

Not me. I made it clear already, that it's YOUR homework, not mine. Thanks much for providing this guide to hood ornaments. I just bought one at a garage sale and was able to find it right away inn the guide. It's a Buick, according to the guide.

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