Ford’s plans to return home

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Key autonomous and electric vehicle business and strategy teams are be moved to the city where the Blue Oval began its life

Teams will be moved to a historic building known as the factory – a recently refurbished industrial complex with a 110-year history – in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. Aims are for the facility to be up and running early next year. More than 220 employees will be based there.

“We’re excited to have chosen 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.

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.

“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 greatest neighborhoods, because we believe in Detroit, its people and what we can build together.”

Jim Farley, Ford executive VP and president, global markets, commented, “Having these teams together in a dedicated facility in the heart of Detroit is truly a full-circle moment for Ford. It’s such a conducive environment for sharing ideas, for collaboration, and accelerating our electric vehicle efforts. We have a great team, and we’ll be hearing more from them in the coming months.”

Autonomous, electric and beyond
The team in Corktown will be led by Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification. Marakby is a Ford veteran who first joined the company in 1990, leaving briefly for a stint in Silicon Valley.

Located at 1907 Michigan Avenue, the 45,000ft2 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.

With its high ceilings, exposed brick, hardwood floors and 9,000ft2 garage, it is hoped the space will foster improved collaboration in a modern workspace with the industrial authenticity of a turn-of-the-century manufacturing facility.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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