In (1913) ‘Ford’ began using standardized interchangeable parts and assembly-line techniques in his plant. Although ‘Ford’ neither originated nor was the first to employ such practices, he was chiefly responsible for their general adoption and for the consequent great expansion of ‘American’ industry and the raising of the ‘American’ standard of living.
By early (1914) this innovation, although greatly increasing productivity, had resulted in a monthly labor turnover of 40 to 60 percent in his factory, largely because of the unpleasant monotony of assembly-line work and repeated increases in the production quotas assigned to workers. ‘Ford’ met this difficulty by doubling the daily wage then standard in the industry, raising it from about $2.50 to $5. The net result was increased stability in his labor force and a substantial reduction in operating costs. These factors, coupled with the enormous increase in output made possible by new technological methods, led to an increase in company profits from $30 million in (1914) to $60 million in (1916).
In (1908) the ‘Ford’ company initiated production of the celebrated ‘Model T’. Until (1927), when the ‘Model T’ was discontinued in favor of a more up-to-date model, the company produced and sold about 15 million cars. Within the ensuing few years, however, ‘Ford’ preeminence as the largest producer and seller of automobiles in the nation was gradually lost to his competitors, largely because he was slow to adopt the practice of introducing a new model of automobile each year, which had become standard in the industry.
During the (1930) ‘Ford’ adopted the policy of the yearly changeover, but his company was unable to regain the position it had formerly held.