Founded by Henry Ford, one of the great industrialists of the 20th century, the Ford Motor Company quickly became a household name and remains today a popular and dependable brand of car. Favoured by first time buyers, Ford cars have had a long and varied history as the product of this innovative and ever-changing company.

The first Ford car which was imported to the UK was the Ford Model A, brought to our shores in 1903. It cost $750 and had a top speed of 28mph. Nowadays the top speed of an average Ford car is almost five times as much (the Ford Fiesta ST has a top speed of 136mph), although on you might very well find your car doesn’t cost much more than that original Model A!

When Ford first began production, cars were assembled from parts made to order, and were put together by two or three men. But Ford was at the forefront of innovation and by 1913 had developed the basic techniques of mass production, increasing production and providing better value for consumers. In the same year Ford introduced the world’s first moving assembly line.

Against criticism from Wall Street, Ford decreased the working day from nine hours to eight hours, and increased wages to $5 a day. For the first time, workers were able to afford the luxury products that they were producing. Where once cars had been a privilege for the lucky few, Ford was dedicated to producing an affordable option for the general public. The breakthroughs made in mass production made this possible, and started us on the road to the world we know now.

Although Henry Ford died in 1947, aged 83, the spirit of innovation and industry which he instilled into the company continues to live on. The new ECOnetic technology which Ford is developing maintains the company’s focus on consumer experience and value. Advancements include the EcoBoost petrol engines which reduce fuel consumption, and the Auto-Start-Stop technology which automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is stationary. Not only can these technologies reduce your carbon footprint, they can also save you money and are designed not to compromise the driving experience.

With a focus still very much on the needs and the budget of the everyday driver, as the variety of pre-loved Ford Focus and Ford Escort cars on will show, the innovations of Ford will surely continue to keep the brand a household name and firm favourite amongst UK drivers.