The Rouge Ford Factory
June 21, 2011. It is still the third day of USIPP in USA. After leaving the Charles H. Wright Museum and having lunch along the beautiful Detroit River (and across from Canada!), we headed to the Ford Rouge Factory in Dearborn.
The Tour of the Ford Rouge Factory consists of five parts. Since we arrived a little late in the afternoon, we only did four of the five:
- The legacy Theater
Here, we learned the history of the factory: the striving of Henry Ford in maintaining the human resources and creating it into something worthwhile; the ups and downs it went through (repeatedly changing name of the factory), right up until the peak of its success; how then it became one of the main source of economy in Detroit; how the people of Detroit really depended on this one industry and the withdrawal of the city when the factory went bankrupt.
- Art of Manufacturing Theatre
This theatre is, to me, the most exciting. It is a 14 minute film explaining the process of car making. What makes it special is the 3D effect and loud noises. The room is shaped like a dome and screens go all the way around it. It was actually quite fun.
- Assembly Plant Walking Tour
This part of the tour is the longest, but the most interesting. During the half-an-hour walk, we saw the real process of building the newest Ford car. It was really my first time in a car factory, let alone seeing it being assembled.
- Legacy Gallery
I consider the Legacy Gallery as the icon of the Factory. The five antique ford cars exhibited attracted many of the visitors, including me of course. We took nearly a whole hour looking at them!
From this tour I did not only have fun, but I also learned what one person, Henry Ford, and his one industry can contribute to. His dreams of making automotive affordable to the public came true and without planning it, became the main source of economy for decades. The decline of its “power” has such a big effect on the city, which I saw through my own eyes the next following days in Detroit. Detroit is now like an abandoned city, schools are closing down, and people are moving out. I never thought I would see anything like it in the US. Maybe because the condition exposed to the general public, worldwide, is not as explicit. Still, however and whatever, the name of the ford factory will always be commemorated for its contribution to Detroit and the United States.