June 6, 2018
Detroit, Michigan is a city full of history, grit, and American determination. While the region fell on hard times as factory jobs moved overseas, there have recently been flickers of life in the former industrial seat’s skyline. Corporations are beginning to take advantage of business-friendly policy within city limits, and Ford, which proudly hails from Detroit, has made a big move, too.
Corktown, the oldest neighborhood in Detroit, is welcoming a team of more than 220 Ford workers developing driverless and electric vehicles. The American automaker has located its business and strategy teams, including Team Edison, Ford’s dedicated global electric vehicle team, in a 45,000-square-foot building known as The Factory on Michigan Avenue, across the street from the old Tiger Stadium site. Previously, the building was home to Chicago Hosiery and Detroit-Alaska Knitting Mills.
“Moving our teams to Corktown will further enhance our electric and autonomous vehicle development,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president, autonomous vehicles and electrification, in a press release. “It gives our teams the workspace they need to promote collaboration and big thinking, and an urban setting that delivers crucial insight for both programs.”
The historic facility has undergone extensive renovation to bring about optimal working conditions, from a collaboration-friendly design to rolling desks and interactive screens that make working together easier.
“Returning to Detroit is particularly meaningful, because it is where my great-grandfather originally set out to pursue his passion and where we have always called our home.” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of the automaker, also noted on Ford’s official website.
In the next few years, Ford plans to offer hybrid options on high-volume nameplates such as the Mustang, F-150, Explorer, Escape, and Bronco, in addition to hybrid options for every new Ford SUV introduced. The work done in Corktown will also help accelerate the development of Ford’s battery-electric vehicle program. A total of 40 electric vehicles will be available globally from Ford by 2022, including 16 full-battery electric vehicles.
The Corktown location is part of an $11.1 billion investment in global electric vehicles announced earlier this year. Team Edison is moving quickly to deliver electrified vehicles that offer exciting experiences and enhanced capabilities based on what people need and want – including the all new Mustang-inspired battery-electric SUV slated for a 2020 release.
With its autonomous and electric teams working side-by-side, the company will deliver on its plan to develop a purpose-build, custom-designed self-driving vehicle that runs on a hybrid-electric powertrain. Planned to begin production in 2021, Ford’s first autonomous vehicles will be designed to move people or products, making them excellent tools for businesses to enhance and grow their operations, as well as provide intuitive experiences to the customers they interact with.
Want to learn more about Ford’s plans for the future? Be sure to check out www.ford.com for information. Even better, stop by your neighborhood Ford dealer and have our friendly staff show you the many hybrid options that Ford has to offer. After all, what could be better than driving a Ford and being eco-friendly?
Come out and see us for a test drive today.