Thursday, Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields was in Victoria, Australia to cut the ribbon at the automaker’s new Asia Pacific Product Development Center – a facility located at Ford’s just-revamped Broadmeadows headquarters. The new center cost the automaker $50 million Australian (about $36m US).
The new Asia Pacific Product Development Center features “state-of-the-art virtual design and engineering capability,” says the automaker, “[positioning] Ford as the automaker with the most comprehensive capability to design and engineer vehicles in Australia.”
Ford has announced that it will increase research and development in Australia by 50 percent, with plans to invest another $450m Australian ($325m US) into product development projects next year alone. Along with that, the company’s workforce in the country will grow to 2,000 employees, up from 1,500 today. A majority of them – 1,750 in all – will be engineers, designers, or technicians.
Additionally, Ford announced that it will expand its Asia Pacific Design Studio – also located in Broadmeadows – and upgrade the Lara/You Yangs Proving Ground, both to help facilitate regular product development, and to “test a greater range of driver-assist technologies.”
“Ford is investing heavily in new products and mobility solutions globally to make our customers’ lives better, and Australia is a key center of innovation for us,” says Mark Fields.