If the automotive industry appeals to you and you’ve always wondered what it would be like to work in an assembly plant, then one place worth visiting is the Ford Rouge Factory. This plant comprises one of dozens of buildings owned and operated by Ford Motor Company in the Dearborn, Michigan area and it’s one of the few of its kind that is open to tourists for educational and recreational purposes.
I’ve visited the Ford Rouge Factory and taken the tour a couple of times, most recently as part of a North American International Auto Show package plan. This factory is home to the Ford F150, the world’s best- selling truck, and tourists get to watch the full assembly of the trucks, step by step, piece by piece. Dedicated employees cover their ground, placing pieces in just the right spot, tightening bolts, double checking for accuracy, and otherwise making sure that quality is up to par.
History and Introduction
Before you even get to the actual plant, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour starts you off by showing a short video about Henry Ford and his vision. This video is mostly educational in nature and includes some interesting historic footage. Once the video finishes, guests are presented with another video relating to the F-150 truck. This is nice because it provides some useful overview of the truck and the assembly process so that you don’t head into the factory completely oblivious about what is taking place. It’s also cool to watch for its more modern flair and for the sharp contrast when compared to the historic video. You jump quickly from the past to the present, exemplifying the light- year’s differences from the old assembly process and vehicles to those of the modern day.
On to the Factory
Now that you’ve been properly prepared, it’s time to head to the Ford Rouge Factory! One final stop before you go is a visit a small room, just outside of the factory, where you get to look out over the other buildings in the area and view the green roof- the largest living roof of its kind. After a few more words from the tour guide, you are sent to the Ford Rouge Factory to observe first-hand the actual assembly of the Ford F150 truck.
This part of the tour is a little different than the rest for one important reason: You are on your own to explore the Ford Rouge Factory and take as much time as you wish. Not that there is much to do besides learn about and observe the Ford F150 truck as it gets assembled, but since everyone will want to watch different things and will enjoy certain assembling processes more than others, the tour guides like you venture on your own. Tourists walk around the second level perimeter of the factory for this part of the tour, looking down at the workers and truck parts below. Ford Rouge tour personnel are present along the way to answer questions but otherwise, you’re on your own.
I spent a good deal of time walking along the perimeter pathway, watching the workers and observing the process. At a few points, I had to wait for the next piece to come by in order to watch the next assembly step in its entirety but I liked the self- paced process. If you visit with young kids who have little interest in something like this, they might tend to push you along faster than you prefer so keep that in mind before you plan a visit. Even if you visit solo like I did, the tour can be completed in less than an hour. It all depends on your personal interest in automotive manufacturing.
Ford F150 is Number One
Ford Rouge Factory Tour presents a very nice way to learn more about automotive technology, brush up on manufacturing history, and see firsthand what goes on in an automobile factory. Once you finish the tour, you will more fully understand why the Ford F150 is the top selling vehicle in its class and why more and more individuals are turning to Ford for their automotive needs. Take your time, watch the action on the grounds below, and learn more about the Ford Motor Company past and present at the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, one of the area’s top attractions.
Copyright 2015, Bryan Carey