• Apr 11, 2007
Henry Ford's historical standing as the father of mass production has come under fire by a new paper published by Dr. Paul Nieuwenhuis and Dr. Pete Wells of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at the Cardiff Business School. The paper posits that Philadelphian Edward G. Budd (shown at right) first implemented the use of the pressed steel car body and mass production. The doctors don't dispute the fact that Ford was responsible for developing mass production of certain mechanical componenets and sub assemblies, but at the time Blue Oval cars were built around a wooden framework that significantly slowed the assembly process. Supposedly Budd was the first to hold a patent in 1914 for a steel pressed body that required no wood, thus making assembly faster and cars more safe, durable and, of all things, easier to paint. It appears the intent of the paper is to shine some light on an early innovator in the automotive industry that historians, for one reason or another, have failed to acknowledge for his contributions.
[Source: Autocar.uk]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting indeed. Henry Ford was simply the first to apply the assembly line to automobile manufacturing. Assembly lines and interchangable parts had been around for a long time in other industries, particularly gunsmithing and watchmaking. The Fark is: Cadillac was formed when Henry Ford's first company failed. Cadillac aquired the factory and the machinery, and became known for being the first car company to produce cars with interchangable parts - famously demonstrated in 1908 when they took three complete Model K's, disassembled them, mixed up the pieces from all three, and then took away some vital parts! The cars were reassembled, and the missing parts were replaced with completely new ones. One of the cars was then entered into a race, which it won. Thus, Cadillac became synonymous with quality (but that was then...)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is Cardiff Business School part of University of Phoenix Online??
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well, if you're going to pass something off as the truth...it might as well be the right truth.

      Ford was a prick anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Daniel,

      Your a clown- the Japanese rarely innovate anything. They typically take an existing technology and have their workforce work twice the hours so as to get it done cheaper. Then their government provides socialized health care and lowers the value of the yen so as keep imports out of their country while getting others to subsidize them in the name of free trade.

      iQuack, Ford was building quality cars and made motoring possible for the working man well before Toyota had a clue. The current offerings are just as good as the competition, so get off your fanboy soapbox huh?
      • 7 Years Ago
      #3 Funny, Toyota used to visit Ford to learn with them, today Ford/GM/DCX use the same principles used by japanese brands, including the Lean Manufacturing (base of the Toyota Production System).
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      People really do not have much to do huh? You mean to tell me 100 years later it's all of a sudden different and changed? If Henry didn't mass produce first, then why were Ford's all over the world before everyone else? He put the world on wheels, remember. Man, to think I want a journalism degree, but sometimes I think twice about being put in the historian/journalism category because most are so lame.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a sensationalist headline. It says "Henry Ford disputed as father of mass production" then you go on to say "The doctors don't dispute the fact that Ford was responsible for developing mass production of certain mechanical components..." Then they are just disputing that he didn't invent the steel car body!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting indeed. Henry Ford was simply the first to apply the assembly line to automobile manufacturing. Assembly lines and interchangable parts had been around for a long time in other industries, particularly gunsmithing and watchmaking. The Fark is: Cadillac was formed when Henry Ford's first company failed. Cadillac aquired the factory and the machinery, and became known for being the first car company to produce cars with interchangable parts - famously demonstrated in 1908 when they took three complete Model K's, disassembled them, mixed up the pieces from all three, and then took away some vital parts! The cars were reassembled, and the missing parts were replaced with completely new ones. One of the cars was then entered into a race, which it won. Thus, Cadillac became synonymous with quality (but that was then...)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't see why people feel the need to be so defensive of Ford. If he wasn't technically the first, then he wasn't the first. It doesn't really matter. That doesn't mean he wasn't the biggest or the most influential person in mass production.

      Historically, most firsts in anything aren't the most successful or even well remembered.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's next? GM didn't have the first easily changable assembly line that every car company uses today? Seriously, no one really cares. Honestly. It's not like this guy was killed because of this.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is rubish. Being able to stamp out steel bodies does not give you the title of "Father of Mass Production" Being able to stamp out nearly all the needed components and put them all together on a assembly line like a Swiss watch is what gives Ford that title.
    • Load More Comments