BLTTHBVILLB (ARK.) COURIER NEWS TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER W, 19S5 IQYtort Ago Today; Henry Ford II Picked Up Where Henry I Left Off By DAVID J. WILKIE AP Automotive Editor DETROIT (AP) — Ten years ago a stubborn but tired old man resigned as president of the Ford Motor Co. Into the post stepped his 28-year-old grandson. For the Ford Motor Co. it was a history-making event. World War II had just ended. Big defense contracts \yere about to be terminated. The huge industrial empire the elder Henrj' Ford had founded and directed as one-man institution showed signs of tottering. To a younger Henry Ford backed | in manufacturing, In adminlstra-| good was the npme of Ford. The by all members 01 bis family ex-j uon. in financial affairs, in labor cepting- perhaps the retiring 82-j relations. Heading the management year-old patriarch fell the task of j team was Ernest R. Breech, lop- rebuilding the empire. I notch production man who had di- Did it frighten him? . reeled three General Motor subsi- "I didn't know enough to be | diaries. Today the company has frightened." he said later. ] more than a score of vice presi- In the decade that Henry Pordj dents. Each is responsible for a n has directed the destinies of vital phase of the company's op- the great family-owned automo- erations. live enterprise, he and his asso-,. Formation of the management ciates have brought it back into! team followed 'a major "house tr.e big money-making area, weath-j cleaning" Ford started when he ered some serious threats to its i stepped into the presidency. Many life and implemented a 2'4-bilHon-; 0 ](j time-worn policies, along with dollar expansion and moderniza- many individuals long associated tion program. j with the elder Ford, were swept Ambition Realized I out of the corporation. , . t „„„ . ,.,._( h . Numerous "fringe" enterprises And. temporary g least h deve , „ „ the company , s found . :,ior,s-to overTake <? **o ™ nt <""• ^ips that sailed the seven seas were sold; so, too, were big rubber, plantations in South America; tire manufacturing facilities, timberJands and saw has realized cherished ambit Chevrolet, his major competitor, in production and sales. Although disputed by Chevrolet. Ford Unofficial estimates from finan-j cial sources say this year's net] earnings of the Ford Mootr Co. | will top the estimated 1950 total j of 265 million dollars. That was the year of the auto industry's biggest output. Ford assemblies and sales will be greater this year then those of any previous year. Friends of young Ford say his ambition goes farther than just to "beat Chevrolet." They visualize Ford challenging General Motor? in all price classes. They point to the huge expansion program that has been underway since 1946. When currently planned projects are completed in 1B58 more than $2,325.000,000 will have been spent on expansion and modernization. More than 50 million square feet of floor space will have been added to present facilities. In Name Only An acrimonious lamny meeting is said to have preceded the elder Ford's resignation and his grandson's election as president. It was common knowledge that young Ford's father. Edsel B. Ford, had been president largely in name only, from 1918 until his death in 1943; that the elder Ford and forne of his close associates frequently countermanded commitments Edsel made, much to the latter's embarrassment. Eleanor Clay* Ford. Edsel's widow, reportedly threatened to sell her company holdings and the ptocfc she controlled as trustee for her younger children on the open market if the elder Ford did not step down and let her son. Henry H, become president In fact as well as in name. It was the same threat the company founder had used a quarter century earlier to force minority stockholders to sell their holdings to him. Thus, on Sept, 21, 1945, a couple of weeks after his 28th birthday, young Henry Ford, who had had relatively little experience in the business, became its president. Young Henry Ford was born In Detroit. He attended Hotchkiss school in Connecticut and was a Yale senior in 1940. He left school before graduation and took a brief apprenticeship in the Ford factories before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve as an ensign in 1941. He served at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station facility at Dearborn, Mich. Late in 1943 he was put on inactive duty and rejoined the company as a vice president. At 38, the six-foot Ford is becoming somewhat plump. To a characteristic personal charm and outspoken frankness he has added substantial poise in the decade he has hended the Ford company. A hard worker, he has the! faculty for quick discernment ana quick decisions. He gives full credit to his management team for much of the company's success during the last 10 years. Go I Help Unlke his grandfather, who fig- uraUvely carried ihe company's aifairs In his vest pocket, the younger Ford sought and got a lot of help. He brought together a group of experts in engineering, thousands of acres of farm lands and hydro power sites in various parts of the country. Board Chairman "Our business," explained young Ford, "Is making automobiles." Breech was made executive vice president. Later he became board chairman. This is the way Breech summed up the Ford situation at the time the younger Ford took over: "About all we had that was any company had lost 55 million dollars in the first half of 1946. had no real research. Even hte postwar engine was no good." Ford now has research; it has a styling division; it has labor direction; it has manufacturing responsibility and capacity; it has most of the things needed to battle General Motors. A golden torrent of profit, i multibillion-dollar expansion pro^ gram, a .still growing industria empire—these are fruits of young Henry Ford's first 10 years as head of the Ford Motor Co. His grandfather, with 11 other Detroiters, founded the business in 1903 with a total paid in cash capital of $28,000. Memphis Machine's Boys Show Little Interest in Mayor's Race MEMPHIS <f — Stalwart* of tbi islted the same question, replied: political organization left by th« late E. H. (Boss) Crump have shown little inclination to get In there and pitch In the Nov. 10 election. The administration, seeking a strong candidate for mayor to lead the reelection ticket, has run into a flat 'no" from its No. 1 choice, Walter Chandler. Newsmen who queried other former city officials rated as possible candidates found them highly reluctant — publicly, at least. In interviews with the Commercial Appeal, two of the top names in speculation over possible candidates almost — but not quite — took themselves out of the picture. Asked if he would accept nomination by the administration, former District Attorney General John Heiskell said: "Present circumstances are such that it is utterly impracticable for me to be a candidate for mayor." He declined to elaborate. Former City Judge Carl Stokes, "I have no wish, desire or intention of returning to public office at this time. I'm very happy in my law practice." Former Mayor Chandler, 68, said he will not try for toe four-year term at stake Nov. 10, but did agree to serve out the unexpired term of Mayor Trank Tobey, who died Sept. 11. >It extends until Deo. 31. He was to be sworn in today by the City Commission. He was generally rated the best vote-catcher the organization could field against an opposition slate headed by 'former Mayor S. Watkins Overton. 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