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The Ford Motor Company launched this auto parts division in 1972 to provide replacement parts and original equipment parts. This brand replaced Autolite as Ford's official parts brand. Autolite is still a brand name in use today, but is currently owned by FRAM. Motorcraft was originally launched in the 1950s with very little success, and was discontinued when Ford purchased the Autolite trade name. Ford was forced to sell Autolite by the Federal Trade Commission. The government found Ford had violated antitrust laws.
Today parts are designed and engineered to fit for installation on Lincoln, Mercury, and Ford vehicles. Some parts, such as Motorcraft's extensive list of oil filter applications, fit a wide variety of makes/models not built by Ford Motor Company.
Motorcraft products are sold through Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships, as well as select auto parts stores.
Many times, Ford will approach a contract manufacturer of a particular product (many times a supplier to the company already) and work with them to create a version for sale under the Motorcraft name. These products must meet quality standards set by the Ford Motor Company to be considered for retail sale. Other brands such as Mazda use motorcraft products in vehicles which both partner when producing. Although Motorcraft can only be contacted through the Ford website, Motorcraft parts and products can sometimes be used on other non-Ford vehicles.
Motorcraft also sells motor oil for automotive use. As of the late 2000s most of their oil is a synthetic blend or fully synthetic designed to last beyond the normal 3,000 miles (4,800 km) change interval. Several weights are available from the 5W-20 all the way to a 15W-40 for diesel engines.