Jan 28, 2015

Ford Summit: North American International Auto Show Day 3 Recap Ft Lincoln MKX, Ford Trends And Ford Rouge Factory Tour

Here we are, Day 3 of our Ford NAIAS experience....

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Here we are, Day 3 of our Ford NAIAS experience. As with the days before we woke up bright and early to get the day rolling before flying back to Toronto. The day started with us shuttling back to the North American International Auto Show to get ready for the big Lincoln news conference. The conference featured the new Lincoln MKX the latest addition to the Lincoln line-up. As someone who throughly enjoyed driving the MKC, I was extremely excited to see what this new model would bring to the table. As expected, the MKX comes fully equipped with virtually any and every feature you could ever want in a car. From impressive horsepower, fuel economy to the latest gadgets, this vehicle has it all. Check out this video I shot live from the press conference.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

After we wrapped the Lincoln conference I quickly jumped into a great trends discussion featuring Ford Futurist Sheryl Connelly and NBC Today Show Digital Lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong before heading to the icon Ford River Rouge Complex.

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Upon arriving at the Ford River Rouge Complex we were treated to their factory tour one that I strongly recommend to anyone, no matter if you’re into cars or not. The Ford Rouge Factory Tour is a self-guided five-part experience that includes: Legacy Theater, Manufacturing Innovation Theater, Observation Deck, Dearborn Truck Plant and the Legacy Gallery.

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Legacy Theater
Learn about the triumphs and tragedies surrounding the Rouge, much of it told through rare, never-before-seen historic footage.
Approximate time: 13 minutes

The Legacy Theater is the first of two state-of-the-art theaters.  Discover the history of Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford’s innovations including the culmination of vertical integration at the Rouge.  Film includes rarely seen historic footage from our archives.

Manufacturing Innovation Theater
A multisensory exploration of the manufacturing experience, from concept to highway. Filled with jaw-dropping special effects, from “floating” 3D laser projection mapping and high-energy audio to a breathtaking behind-the-wheel finale.
Approximate time: 10 minutes

A multisensory exploration of the manufacturing experience, from concept to highway. Filled with jaw-dropping special effects, from “floating” 3D laser projection mapping and high-energy audio to a breathtaking behind-the-wheel finale.

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Observation Deck Tour
View the ground-breaking living roof from our 80-foot-high Observation Deck.
Variable time: 5-15 minutes

Take an elevator ride up 80 feet to the Observation Deck.  It’s the best seat in the house for a panoramic view of the Ford Rouge Center complex and a spectacular way to see the Living Roof atop the Dearborn Truck Plant’s Final Assembly building.  The Living Roof is a milestone in environmental design and is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Not only will you see this ground-breaking living roof, but the Observation Deck also highlights the extensive network of environmental innovations throughout the Rouge Complex including: a naturalized habitat, porous pavement, solar arrays and energy saving photovoltaic panels.

The Observation Deck also has two interactive exhibits that help to explain the various environmentally inspired features at the Ford Rouge Center.

It’s an excursion into a realm where environmental innovation and industrial production work together to put an entirely new face on modern manufacturing.

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Assembly Plant Walking Tour
See where the new military grade aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150s are assembled in a lean and flexible manufacturing plant. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the final assembly process from an elevated walkway.
Variable time: 30-45 minutes

Attached to the Visitor Center is the Dearborn Truck Plant, where the new military grade aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150 truck is made. Here you can walk a 1/3 mile elevated walkway and view the plant’s final assembly line.

From the elevated walkway you’ll see the complex web of equipment, robotics, parts delivery and skilled workers that together can build1 truck per minute at full line speeds. The tour includes trim lines for cab, box, and door as well as final testing. You’ll see the F-150 come into the plant as an empty shell and leave as a fully tested F-150 ready for the customer.

Videos, signs and interactive displays help connect you to the build experience. At the Test Drive Smart Tools display you can use the same advanced tooling that helps build quality into every vehicle by constantly measuring and analyzing the build process.

Of course the friendly staff stationed along the tour route also helps explain what you’re seeing and answers any questions you may have.

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Legacy Gallery
View five historic vehicles made at the Rouge, hop in a new F-150, and visit our Factory Store.

In the Legacy Gallery you can see examples of Ford’s history of innovation – five legendary vehicles made at the Rouge: the 1929 Model A, the ’32 Ford V8, the ’49 Coupe, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird and a 1965 Ford Mustang. Completing the timeline is the Rouge’s latest creation: the all-new 2015 Ford F-150. Explore the stories and engineering behind this vehicle in the Truth About Trucks kiosk. Go deeper in to The Henry Ford’s collections with the Collections Explorer kiosks that includes interactive educational games, Expert Insight videos, curated collection highlights, and complete access to thousands of digitized artifacts.

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