Ford to move self-driving and electric vehicle teams
Ford Motor Company revealed plans to move its autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle business and strategy teams to Detroit's Corktown neighborhood where the teams will be operating out of a historic building known as The Factory—a recently refurbished industrial complex with a 110-year history. The company says that the location, which will be up and running early next year, will enable Ford teams to immerse themselves in urban mobility challenges and solutions.
“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. “This move and our exciting Dearborn campus transformation are important steps as we move toward our aspiration to become the world’s most trusted mobility company—designing smart vehicles for a smart world.”
Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, derives its name from the Irish immigrants who settled there from County Cork, Ireland. 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. Ford says that the 45,000-square-foot building will afford employees both the collaborative openness of a modern workspace and the industrial authenticity of a turn-of-the-century manufacturing facility.
“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 Executive Chairman Bill 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 team in Corktown will be led by Sherif Marakby, Ford Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification. Marakby first joined the company in 1990, leaving briefly for a stint in Silicon Valley.