U.S.A. BUSINESS / INDUSTRY. Henry Ford (1863-1947), 1904. American industrialist, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. He produced an automobile that was reasonably priced, reliable, and efficient with the introduction of the Model T in 1908. This vehicle initiated a new era in personal transportation. It was easy to operate, maintain, and handle on rough roads, immediately becoming a huge success.