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Ford vs Lincoln

Ford vs Lincoln

This is a tale of two Henrys – Henry Ford and Henry Leland. Henry Ford was a design innovator but, at the time, lousy at manufacturing. At the turn of the past century, in his second company, Ford could not produce the low-end roughly $1000 models he was hired to make – and had no interest in fancy, $3000 cars.

Leland, on the other hand, was a genius machinist, a gunsmith, and a supplier to early auto companies who could make parts consistently with tolerances unheard of at the time. He envisioned a high-end auto that would run like a dream.

So, in 1902, Leland was brought in by the investors who controlled the Henry Ford Company to fix things. Ford, no longer running Ford, walked. Leland began focusing on high-end models and renamed the company Cadillac. Leland later sold Cadillac to General Motors (GM), regretted it, and revived the idea for a standalone luxury car brand in 1917. Leland being an admirer of a certain U.S. president, his new luxe car was named Lincoln.

Ford would have the last laugh, though, buying Lincoln out of bankruptcy in 1922.

Source: Inc Magazine’s Business Regrets? They’ve Had a Few
Photo by Peter Trones

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