Ford's new F-150 prompts renovation of assembly plant tour

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Ford Motor Co., one of the few automakers to routinely open an assembly line to the general public, is renovating its Rouge factory tour and renovating the Dearborn Truck Plant’s body shop at the end of the summer in anticipation of the 2015 Ford F-150.

The company said it expects to start manufacturing the all-new truck in late 2014. Its most notable new feature will be an aluminum body.

The revamp of the Rouge tour, taken by more than 1 million people since its opening in 2004, will include new hands-on experiences, films and exhibits that highlight the 2015 F-150.

“This is a complete evolution of the truck,” Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski said. “The additions to the tour will reflect that.”

Adamski said the tour will incorporate a new multimedia display of the 2015 F-150 that will present the truck’s new and updated features, as well as information about the way it is built.

“As we evolve the tour, we plan to create something memorable that people young and old can enjoy for years to come,” Cynthia Jones, the Ford Rouge tour general manager, said in the statement today.

Adamski said the Rouge tour will close for renovations from Aug. 25 through Sept. 21, and the new tour will be ready for the public by the end of the year. The current admission for adult nonmembers of the The Henry Ford attraction in Dearborn is $15. Ford does not plan to increase that price after the revamp, but the pricing structure for 2015 has not been finalized.

Ford does not yet have an estimate on how much money will be invested in the Rouge tour upgrades.

The renovations of the Dearborn Truck Plant will support the new process used to produce the aluminum body for the 2015 F-150. Ford has invested $359 million in the Dearborn Truck Plant, which will cover this summer’s changes to the factory’s body shop, paint shop and final assembly system.

You can reach Nora Naughton at nnaughton@crain.com.


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