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."
New Sponsors for NBC's Jeep World of Adventure Sports
The Jeep World of Adventure Sports (JWOA) series now airing on NBC just signed up a few new sponsors. The new action-adventure sports series welcomed Columbia Sportswear Company, Garmin International, Goodyear, and America Online (AOL) to the production formula, which highlights all types of adventure sports and the go-anywhere nature of Jeep vehicles. Columbia Sportswear will outfit series host Pat Parnell and other show talent, as well as the NBC Sports crew, with all-weather technical gear from its 2004 Titanium Outerwear collection, while Garmin International will provide its GPS units and products to be used and featured in various events and by production crews operating in the field. AOL and Goodyear are slated to offer supporting advertisements with in-telecast benefits tied to event coverage. Jeff Bell, vice president of Jeep, remarked, "This project will not only provide great programming for consumers, but is taking product integration to a new level. We are excited to be working with brands who understand the value of properties like Jeep World of Adventure Sports."
Go 4x4 Trail-Rated Challenge
Jeep recently launched a new online "edutainment" game de-signed to teach consumers about on- and off-road Jeep vehicle safety features and safe-driving tips. The company developed the Internet destination with Organic Inc., Chrysler Group's interactive agency of record. The Go 4x4 Challenge positions the interactive vehicle "operator" within a variety of driving scenarios to teach Jeep-vehicle owners and prospects about how to maneuver safely through challenging on- and off-road conditions, such as deep water, snow, and sand. To take the Jeep 4x4 Trail-Rated Challenge, check out www.jeep.com/4x4.
Hummer and Tread Lightly! Fix Trails
Hummer and Tread Lightly! have joined forces to launch a major restoration initiative geared at repairing off-highway vehicle trails at the Gros Ventre area in the Bridger-Teton National Forest near Jackson, Wyoming. Part of an ongoing effort titled Hummer Helps, the project was made possible through a $100,000 endowment given to Tread Lightly!'s Restoration for Recreation program. Hummer Helps is designed to aid and protect communities and to restore recreational areas for future generations. Trail-maintenance activities are scheduled for completion in October 2005 and will focus on trail reconstruction and maintenance, improving education and signage, and identifying new sites for future restoration efforts. Hummer General Manager Mike DiGiovanni stated, "This restoration effort will not only improve the existing trails, but also aid in promoting socially responsible off-highway vehicle use." Community volunteers, U.S. Forest Service representatives, the Teton Off-Road Coalition, Hummer and Tread Lightly! employees, and various charitable organizations participated in the restoration efforts.