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The History Of Lincoln
Founded in 1917 by the father-son duo of Henry and Wilfred Leland, the Lincoln Motor Company initially began the production of its vehicles with help from quite a few other automotive companies that were on the market. The company was named after Abraham Lincoln because he was the first president that Henry Leland had ever voted for. But the presidential name had nothing to do with Lincoln finding its way to the U.S. automotive market.
After securing a $10 million contract with Liberty V12, an aircraft engine manufacturer, the Lelands were able to build their first manufacturing plant in Detroit. The Lincoln Motor Company plant was the final assembly destination for all the brand’s engines that were used in their vehicles. The company was able to secure other parts from Ford, Buick, and Cadillac to name a few. But the plant was primarily used to craft aircraft engines while automotive production was second on the list of the company’s concerns.
In 1920, Lincoln made a change and decided to fully immerse itself into the automotive market, switching its focus to the sole production of automobiles instead. September of that same year, the Lincoln Model L was officially produced as Lincoln Motor Company’s first car. Unfortunately, the sudden shift into the automotive industry came with a few major bumps in the road, with Lincoln having a hard time adjusting to life after aircraft engine manufacturing. The consumer outrage was solely due to having to wait a whole year after purchasing the Model L. By 1922, Lincoln was face to face with impending bankruptcy.
Before Lincoln officially sank, automotive savant Henry Ford purchased the company for $8 million in February of 1922, although the company was initially worth $16 million. Ford had previously worked with the company before until he was forced to leave it, so the purchasing of the Lincoln Motor Company and the production of its vehicles were personal to Ford. This was a much-needed move for the Ford Motor Company because GM was dominating them at the market in terms of size, outnumbering Ford’s offering by a mark of 5-to-1.
In one year after purchasing the company, Ford would help Lincoln finally operate at profit after a successful rebranding of the image, design, and purpose of the Lincoln brand. By 1924, the Lincoln Model L was able to capture the distinction of being the first limousine used by a United States President with Calvin Coolidge repeatedly using the brand on an official basis.
Fast forward to the present day and Lincoln is still one of the top luxury brands in the world. The company is now worldwide and offers something to everyone from the upper to lower classes in society. For over 100 years, Lincoln has delivered for its consumers year after year, even after a few dangerous hiccups at the beginning that could have effectively ended the entire company. The history and legacy of Lincoln were kept alive with assistance from Ford and the two have used that partnership to make a positive impact on the automotive world.