Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover were sold to Tata Motors of India in March 2008. In 2010 Ford sold Volvo to Geely Automobile. Ford discontinued the Mercury brand after the 2011 model year. Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914 these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford's former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States since 1938.
As of 2012 Ford Motor Company sells a broad range of automobiles under the Ford marque worldwide, and an additional range of luxury automobiles under the Lincoln marque in the United States. The company has sold vehicles under a number of other marques during its history. The Mercury brand was introduced by Ford in 1939, continuing in production until 2011 when poor sales led to its discontinuation. In 1958, Ford introduced the Edsel brand, but poor sales led to its discontinuation in 1960. In 1985, the Merkur brand was introduced in the United States to market products produced by Ford of Europe; it was discontinued in 1989.
Ford acquired the British sports car maker Aston Martin in 1989, later selling it on March 12, 2007, although retaining a 15% stake, and bought Volvo Cars of Sweden in 1999, selling it to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010. In November 2008, it reduced its 33.4% controlling interest in Mazda of Japan to a 13.4% non-controlling interest. On November 18, 2010, Ford reduced their stake further to just 3%, citing the reduction of ownership would allow greater flexibility to pursue growth in emerging markets. Ford and Mazda remain strategic partners through exchanges of technological information and joint ventures, including an American joint venture plant in Flat Rock, Michigan called Auto Alliance. Ford sold the United Kingdom-based Jaguar and Land Rover companies and brands to Tata Motors of India in March 2008.