Ford move autonomous, EV teams into 110-year-old Detroit factory
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Ford has reveals plans to move key autonomous and electric vehicle business and strategy teams to the city where the company got its start.
Ford is moving the teams to a historic building known as 'The Factory' – a recently refurbished industrial complex with a rich 110-year history – in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. The Motor City location will be up and running early next year, where the two Ford teams will tackle 'urban mobility challenges and solutions.'
The move to Detroit is both a nod toward the past and a look forward, with Ford reaffirming its commitment to a city where its journey first began.
“We’re excited to choose this inspirational location in one of Detroit’s resurgent neighborhoods to accelerate our work on electric and autonomous vehicles,” said Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO.
Located at 1907 Michigan Avenue, the brick building complex that will house Ford’s autonomous and electric vehicle teams was constructed in 1907, the year planning began on the Ford Model T at the nearby Piquette Avenue plant.
The Corktown location holds special meaning for Executive Chairman Bill Ford, whose ancestors emigrated from County Cork, Ireland, to the Dearborn, Michigan, area years ago. Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, derives its name from immigrants from County Cork who settled there.
“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 Ford.
“We are planting a special piece of our company’s future in one of the city’s great neighborhoods, because we believe in Detroit, its people and what we can build together.”
The move is more than a relocation – it’s a strategic decision aligned with Ford's mission to improve the system of transporting people and goods, in cities facing major challenges such as congestion and pollution.
Ford’s autonomous vehicle business is built around deploying self-driving vehicles in partnership with leading companies that serve the movement of both people and goods. Ford has already developed self-driving cars for ride sharing parter Lyft and Domino’s Pizza in the U.S.
Ford plans to launch its first autonomous vehicle in 2021, said to be an all-new hybrid-electric vehicle with self-driving capability.