Ford’s Green River Rouge is American Industry at Its Mightiest
One of the most impressive factories in the world, for both its history and sheer size, is Ford Motor Co.’s River Rouge plant in Dearborn. At one time home to 100,000 workers, the Rouge was, and yes still is, a powerful symbol of the automotive industry’s power and the impact Detroit had on our way of life.
Today we had the opportunity to tour the River Rouge Factory and watch Ford F10’s assembled. For two 10-hour shifts on weekdays and one shift on weekends, autoworkers assemble the engines, cabs and beds of one of Ford’s top selling vehicles.
Thanks in part to Bill Ford, Henry Ford’s great-grandson and company’s current Executive Chairman, the Rouge has become more environmentally sustainable and is evolving with the 21st century. A massive green roof (pictured) helps retain rainwater, porous pavement across the complex also contributes to rainwater harvesting, and solar panels in front of the factory tour’s entrance heats water. Solar panels are dotted across the Rouge’s rooftops and trees supporting nature are sprouting across the factories’ grounds.
Just one quibble: we could not film or photograph the assembly of those Ford trucks, which seems odd considering Henry Ford’s openness in sharing the benefits of the modern assembly line. To be able to share the experience would have made this morning even richer and showcase the impressive work this more progressive company is currently achieving.