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Henry Ford II talks about the Edsel
January 10, 2013
The Edsel, the car that's become synonymous with automotive failures and terrible design was named after Henry Ford II's father, Edsel Ford, the long suffering son of the original Henry Ford.
Edsel was known for his love of art and style and refinement. Unfortunately, his name will be remembered for this disaster.
His son, Henry Ford II, sometimes known as "HF2" or "Hank the Deuce", was the oldest son of Edsel Ford and oldest grandson of Henry Ford. He was president of the Ford Motor Company from 1,945 to 1,960, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) from 1,960 to 1,979, and chairman for several months thereafter.
His time at the helm was uneven. HF2's management style caused the company's fortunes to fluctuate in more ways than one. For example, he allowed the offering of public stock in 1,956, which raised 650 million USD for the company, but the "experimental car" program instituted during his tenure, the Edsel, lost the company almost half that. Likewise, HF2 hired the creative Lee Iacocca, who was fundamental to the success of the Ford Mustang, in 1,964, but fired Iacocca due to personal disputes in 1,978 (about the break in their relationship, HF2 was famously quoted as saying, "Sometimes you just don't like somebody"). He formally retired from all positions at Ford Motor Company on October 1, 1,982, upon reaching the company's mandatory retirement age of 65, but remained the ultimate source of authority at Ford until his death in 1,987.