The Ford Rouge Factory Tour Experience
Closed to the public since 1980, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Dearborn, Michigan, reopened its doors in May 2004. Operated by the Henry Ford Museum in association with Ford Motor Company, the new tour is said to be not only a trip around an auto factory, but also a lesson in the rich history of the Rouge River complex and Ford Motor Company. The Rouge complex once housed 93 buildings and employed more than 100,000 people, including those making up the complex's own fire department, police force, hospital, and railroad. Today, the Ford Rouge Center employs about 6,000 people, but it still remains the company's largest single industrial complex.
Visitors to the Ford Rouge Factory Tour will begin their experience at the Henry Ford Museum, where they'll travel by bus to the Rouge Visitor Center, located near the new Dearborn Truck Plant Final Assembly building. The tour then leads through the complex, where visitors encounter a number of murals detailing the history of the Rouge Factory and are led to the Henry Ford IMAX Theatre for a showing of the Art of Manufacturing. The film is designed to give viewers the sensation of being on the assembly line by incorporating sound, touch, and scent into the visual experience. After the film, visitors can then take in the impressive view of the entire Rouge Center from atop the 80-foot-high observation deck. The final stage of the tour takes visitors through the Ford F-150 truck-assembly plant to view key points in the final assembly process. At tour's end, guests can get a close-up look at a completed F-150, as well as a number of historical vehicles produced at the Rouge Factory throughout the years.
Daily attendance for the Ford Rouge Factory Tour is limited to 825 people, and advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended. For more information, contact: (313) 982-6001, www.thehenryford.org.
Indiana Toyota Plant Celebrates 1 Millionth Vehicle
Resulting from a six-year $2.5 billion investment by Toyota in its Princeton, Indiana, manufacturing operation, the company recently celebrated the completion of the 1 millionth vehicle built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI). Toyota marked the occasion by giving back to the Princeton community through the donation of a Tundra pickup truck to the Princeton police department and committing $100,000 to the Indiana University scholarship program. The department will use the Tundra for official purposes, while the Indiana University scholarships will be offered to young men and women from Gibson County High School. Two $2,500 scholarships will be awarded per year to one male and one female student. TMMI President and CEO Okamoto stated, "Today's donations are our way of thanking the community for its support of TMMI since the very beginning. Safety in our communities and educating our youth are both very important to TMMI. This is the perfect way to show our commitment to these causes."