The Ford Model T is certainly the most famous of early 20th century American cars. Not only was it the most popular car of the day, but it also holds great significance in the development of American culture. It is regarded as the first truly affordable American car that made car ownership a possibility for middle-class Americans. The Model T ushered in an era where car ownership in the US became a norm and not an exception, and paved the way for Ford and other notable American manufacturers to become the longstanding institutions they are today.
Production of the Model T was pioneering in its own right, as prior to the its introduction cars were handcrafted, whereas Henry Ford used assembly-line production methods in the construction of the Model T. The Model T’s affordability can be credited to the efficiency of these streamlined production methods. Through efficient production and subsequently low costs, sales skyrocketed, which meant more jobs for workers at Ford.
Henry Ford’s business model is considered to be an innovator in American commerce, by demonstrating success using a high-sales, low profit margin strategy. Not only is the Model T and philosophy behind its production largely responsible for the automotive revolution in the US, but it also affected all aspects of economy and business in the US and even internationally.
Ford stuck to a strict philosophy, one of perfection in simplicity, and finding what works and sticking to it. His initial vision, which he carried out throughout the production of the Model T, was to find the simplest, most efficient, and most effective build, and hone it to perfection. Through this method he would be able to keep costs low, keep driving sales, maintain a standard of consistency and quality, and keep generating more jobs for Americans. Ford never wanted the Model T to be the flashy car of the day, and the flailing flop of tomorrow; he had a firm vision for an affordable, reliable, no nonsense but still classy car that would put all hard-working Americans on the road. This vision was successful, and for that reason Henry Ford and his Model T are both American legends.