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Ford's new Corktown offices are in full swing and they look awesome

Ford announced plans in December to consolidate offices for many of its high-tech teams in a former factory in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, and now it's happened.

You might remember that in December 2017 we reported on Ford's plans to move its electric and autonomous vehicle strategy teams to Detroit's chic Corktown neighborhood as part of a plan to make Michigan a hub for autonomous vehicle development. Well, now the teams are moved in, and things are looking pretty good.

You might be asking yourself why this is a big deal. The answer is that the teams housed in the refurbished Corktown factory are going to be responsible for some of Ford's most significant products in the future, notably the hybrid F-150 and Ford's first fully autonomous vehicle thanks to Team Edison, also stationed in Corktown.

Ford's new Corktown facility definitely looks more like a chic downtown Los Angeles startup than a disused Detroit factory.


"Moving our teams to Corktown will further enhance our electric and autonomous vehicle development," said Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification. "It gives our teams the work space they need to promote collaboration and big thinking, and an urban setting that delivers crucial insight for both programs."

Having these hip, young teams in a hip, young neighborhood and not shoved into a deep, dark corner of Dearborn should help attract talent away from places like Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach.


The dynamic new workspaces inside Ford's Corktown facility will help attract new talent from elsewhere in the world.


"Come to Detroit, buy a giant house for cheap and take up hockey! Our manholes are steamy and we have Tim Hortons!"

That pitch would entirely work on me if I were a fancypants engineer. Anyway, it's a smart play by the Blue Oval, and it looks like it's actually panning out. Naturally, we'll expect a grand tour when we're in town next January.