Ford Authority

Here’s The New Ford Oakwood Research And Engineering Center

Back in 2019, Ford announced that it would be revamping its Research And Engineering Center in Dearborn, Michigan, transforming the Product Development Center (PDC) that is located on the northwest corner of that campus into a high-tech, efficient, and forward-thinking campus that will house thousands of designers, engineers, and product development workers. Roughly a year later, Ford Authority spotted this historic facility being torn down to make room for the new campus, which included the outer perimeter, too. Now, the brand new Ford Oakwood Research and Engineering Center is starting to take shape, giving us a literal look at the future of the Blue Oval.

Construction on the new Ford Oakwood Research and Engineering Center isn’t yet completed, but the building is certainly coming along nicely, as we can see in these photos. It’ll have big shoes to fill, as the Product Development Center that it’s replacing was dedicated in 1953 and had previously been the launching point for every U.S. Ford model since 1955. The idea for the site came from Henry Ford II, who was seeking to move the automaker’s design process into one singular location, for every vehicle it made. Thus, every Ford F-Series pickup, Ford Mustang, and Ford Bronco built since the mid-1950s had gone through the entire process – from early sketches to approved designs – at the old PDC.

In the years that followed, the PDC remained largely unchanged from its early form, but according to Moray Callum, Ford’s vice president of design, it no longer afforded Ford the flexibility it required. “It was a different time when the sprawling research and engineering campus was designed in the 1950s,” Callum said. “The space was designed for cars, by cars. A sea of parking spots engulfed Ford’s campus and there were limited walkable spaces. Today, we’re living in a period of personal mobility, and the world is becoming smarter and more connected. Electric cars, autonomous vehicles, and mobility solutions are on the rise in response to societal trends.”

The new Ford Oakwood Research and Development Center will now aim to keep that tradition alive. Ford has partnered with Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta to design the new campus, which it says will consist of a walkable area of interconnected buildings that could one day house more than 20,000 employees in a flexible, high-tech environment showcasing new mobility solutions such as electrified bikes, scooters, and shuttles.

We’ll have more on the Ford Oakwood Research and Development Center soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford business news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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