Ford Motors during the Second World War
Henry Ford’s pacifist mentality had once again guided his company’s fate during the Second World War. To prevent the Nazis from turning the Ford Motor Company’s plants in Germany into a nationalized factory, Henry Ford developed a close working relationship with the Nazi government. Ford’s efforts were effective since the company obtained the 52% ownership of the factories there. Although the Nazi controlled the day-to-day business of these facilities, Ford still remained as the majority owner.
Henry Ford’s relationship with the German Nazi government remained good for a while. However, this had subsequently changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This event encouraged Ford to provide support for the Allied Forces’ war efforts, by producing airplane engines. But, this doesn’t mean that Ford’s operation in Europe, particularly in Germany, had stopped. In fact, one-third of the trucks used by the Nazi army were produced by Ford Motor Company. Due to these strategies, Ford was viewed as a company that collaborates with both the Allied and the Nazis and earned a lot of investments from these sources.
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Ford’s direct communications and business ties ended when the US declared war in December 1941. However, there were some allegations that a series of indirect communications between the Nazi government in Germany and Ford still took place. But after an investigation conducted by the US Treasury Department, allegations were dismissed due to lack of concrete proofs.
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