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Two legends of the American road, Ford Motor Company and Harley-Davidson Motor Company, are both celebrating their 100th Anniversary in 2003. Both enjoy leadership positions in pickup trucks and heavyweight motorcycles respectively, and both companies are proud of their rich heritage and contributions to American motoring.

In 1999, Ford and Harley-Davidson forged an alliance to celebrate their corporate heritage and their common centennials.

"The past three years have been a tremendous success – our partnership has generated great products and events that appeal to both Ford and Harley enthusiasts," said Steve Lyons, Ford Division president. "We are excited about what the alliance will bring in the future."

The alliance between Ford and Harley-Davidson Motor Company was announced in 1999 during the famed Daytona Beach Bike Week festivities.

"There is a natural synergy and benefit to our loyal customer base," said Jeff Bleustein, Harley-Davidson chairman and chief executive officer. "We each bring value to this strategic alliance."

In August 1999, the two companies used the scenic backdrop of the Sturgis Rally & Races in Sturgis, S.D. to introduce the first product of their historic partnership – Ford’s limited-edition Harley-Davidson™ F-150 pickup truck. Also in Sturgis, in 2000, the companies revealed the second product in the line-up, the 2001 Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 SuperCrew. In November 2001, the all-new 2002 Supercharged Ford Harley-Davidson™ F-150 SuperCrew was introduced at the eighteenth annual Love Ride in Glendale, Calif.

"This truck combines the quality and durability of the F-150 and the F-Series line – America’s best-selling vehicle, car or truck, for the past 20 years – with the popularity and appeal of the Harley-Davidson brand name," Lyons said. "Since its introduction, this truck has received a tremendous response from Harley-Davidson enthusiasts and truck owners alike."

"Harley-Davidson and Ford are leaders in our respective industries," Bleustein added. "The power of Harley-Davidson or Ford alone is very strong. The power of our two brands together creates a number of exciting opportunities for us and for our customers," he said.

Detroit and Milwaukee: Putting the World on Wheels

The legends of two great American companies were born at the same time at the turn of the century through the hard work and dedication of their visionary namesakes.

From humble beginnings in a small garage in Detroit, Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 and sold its first Model A.

In 1913, Ford developed the world’s first moving assembly line in Highland Park, Mich., realizing Henry Ford's dream of affordable personal transportation. Mass production meant higher volume and lower prices. A 1913 Ford Model T Roadster cost $525, compared to $850 for the 1903 Model A.

Also in 1903, the founding namesakes of Harley-Davidson toiled away across Lake Michigan in a 10x15-foot shed in the Milwaukee, Wis. family backyard of William, Walter and Arthur Davidson. Joined by William S. Harley, with hard work, ingenuity and the common goal of "taking the work out of bicycling," the four men crafted their first motorcycle. Through the subsequent decades came two world wars, a crippling economic depression, a tide of foreign competition, government regulations and the ever-changing tastes of consumers. But through it all, each company survived and thrived, today standing as two of the most respected and recognizable companies in the world.

Historical Highlights

1903 Ford Motor Company incorporated. 1,708 Model A's sold. First Harley-Davidson® motorcycle built by brothers Walter and Arthur Davidson and William S. Harley. Total production = 3 motorcycles.


Ford sets world record for timed mile – 91.37 mph.

Harley-Davidson sells first motorcycle.


Harley-Davidson Motor Company incorporated. 150 motorcycles produced.

Ford introduces its famous slogan "Watch the Fords Go By."

1908 Ford introduces Model T. It sold for $850.

Harley-Davidson triples production – 450 motorcycles.

1909 Harley-Davidson introduces its famous V-Twin engine.

1913 Ford develops the first moving auto assembly line in Highland Park, Mich.

1914 Harley-Davidson forms its first factory racing team.

1917 World War I – Ford and Harley-Davidson contribute vehicles to the war effort

1932 Ford introduces first mass production V-8 engine, the "Flathead."

1936 Harley-Davidson introduces new overhead valve Knucklehead engine.


World War II – Once again, both companies contribute to the war effort.

90,000 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are used in WW II. Ford builds B-24 bombers, tanks and other war materiel.

1948 Ford F-1 pickup introduced.

Harley-Davidson introduces new Panhead engine.

1953 Harley-Davidson and Ford celebrate 50th anniversaries.

1956 Ford goes public with first stock sale.

1964 Ford Mustang creates "pony car" sensation.

1965 Harley-Davidson goes public with first stock sale, ending 62 years of family ownership. Electra Glide® motorcycle introduced.


Ford of Europe is established.


Middle East oil embargo hits America’s gas pumps.


U.S. government imposes heavyweight motorcycle tariff to protect Harley-Davidson from foreign competition.


Harley-Davidson introduces new Evolution® engine.


Ford Taurus introduced.


A revitalized Harley-Davidson petitions the U.S. government to remove tariffs one year earlier than scheduled.


Ford celebrates production of 250 million vehicles.


50th anniversary of F-Series pickup.

1999 Historic alliance announced between Ford and Harley-Davidson.

Harley-Davidson enjoys more than 54 percent of the domestic heavyweight motorcycle market. The first limited-edition truck jointly developed by Ford and Harley-Davidson – the 2000 F-150 SuperCab – is introduced in Sturgis, S.D.


The 2000 Ford Harley-Davidsonä F-150 SuperCab goes on sale.

The 2001 Ford Harley-Davidsonä F-150 SuperCrew, the second in the series of limited-edition trucks, is introduced at the 60th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.


The 2002 Supercharged Ford Harley-Davidsonä F-150 SuperCrew, the third in the series of limited-edition trucks, is introduced at the 18th annual Love Ride in Glendale, Calif.


F-Series celebrates 25 years as America’s best-selling truck, and 20 years as America’s best-selling vehicle, car or truck.