Ford Rouge Assembly Plant, Michigan, where Ford F-150 pickup trucks are builtEnlarge Photo
Back in 2011, we visited 'Rouge'--the Ford plant responsible for churning out F-150 pickup trucks in their tens of thousands each year.
Alongside the F-150 itself, now more efficient than ever, Rouge is an example of how automotive facilities are being cleaned up, as well as the products they produce.
Rouge is also a popular tourist attraction in the Metro Detroit area, and its decade-old tour is being revamped this year alongside retooling for the aluminum-bodied F-Series.
According to The Detroit News, a multimedia display of the new F-150 will join the list of exhibits, while walkways overlooking the assembly plant will be renovated and the Legacy and Art of Manufacturing theater will get new special effects.
"As we evolve the tour, said Cynthia Jones, general manager of the Ford Rouge factory tour, "we plan to create something memorable that people young and old can enjoy for years to come."
She adds that the factory tour is a "true gem"--one that's ranked number four in Time magazine's list of ten things to do in Detroit.
The tour updates are just part of a huge multi-million dollar update of the plant, which opened in 2014 and has since churned out 2.6 million F-150 trucks.
2015 Ford F-150
2015 Ford F-150Enlarge Photo
The plant's body shop is being renovated this summer to retool for the new aluminum pickup, and the paint shop and final assembly system are also being updated.
Rouge touts several attributes that make it greener than your average car manufacturing facility. It features over 10 acres of "green roof", with plants and grass to absorb rainfall and insulate the facility.
The plant's metal sides are covered in vines, lightboxes on the roof reduce the need for powered lighting inside, and the parking lot is paved in porous asphalt to allow rainwater to pass into the ground.
There are parks and trees on the plant's grounds, and even hives containing 50,000 bees. One lucky plant worker, who also acts as a beekeeper, gets to keep the honey they produce...
Renovation work at the plant will see the tour closed from August 25 through September 21, and the updated tour should be ready by the end of the year.