Ford today celebrated building its 350 millionth car since the company's inception in 1903. Despite Ford's Michigan origins, the milestone car was assembled at a new factory in Rayong, Thailand.
Ford says that building 350 million cars over the course of 109 years is equivalent to building 8797 cars per day, or an average of one new car every ten seconds. If all those vehicles were arranged end-to-end, Ford says the 350 million cars would stretch from to the moon and back, a distance of approximately 470,000 miles.
It goes without saying that Ford has previously celebrated milestones when it built certain numbers of cars. The company's one millionth car was a 1915 Model T, the ten millionth was a 1924 Model T, and the 50 millionth was a 1959 Ford Galaxie. By 1978, a Ford Fairmont Futura marked Ford's 100 millionth car, a 1979 Mustang coupe was the 150 millionth, and a 2004 Mustang convertible was the company’s 300 millionth vehicle.
The fact that Ford’s 350 millionth car, a Ford Focus, was built in Thailand underscores the automaker’s "One Ford" mantra. The Focus is built in four different countries around the world, because Ford plans to make many of its new vehicles identical in every market in which they are sold. That means a Ford Focus sold in Europe differs on slightly from a model sold in the U.S. or Asia, for instance.
Ford also announced today that it has sold 489,616 Focuses globally thus far in 2012. According to Ford data culled from IHS Automotive, that makes the Focus the world's bestselling car this year, beating out the Toyota Corolla at 462,187 units. In the U.S. that pattern was reversed: Ford sold 147,877 Focuses through July, while Toyota sold 175,366 Corollas over the same period.
Sources: Ford, Toyota