For Bill Ford, today’s event to mark the start of production of the all-new 2015 F-150 at the Ford Rouge Center is personal.
“It is a great day for me and the family. The Rouge has always meant something to me personally,” said the executive chairman of the automaker that bears his family name. “The Rouge is the heart and soul of how I feel about this company.”
Bill Ford joined CEO Mark Fields, Jimmy Settles, the UAW vice president who heads the Ford division, and the full workforce at the Dearborn Truck Plant, which shut down the line to watch the ceremonial first 2015 F-150 come off the assembly line.
How crucial is the profitable truck?
“Important with a capital I,” Fields told reporters. It goes on sale in the U.S. next month and has garnered the most interest from potential consumers of any vehicle to date.
The downside is that the slow pace to ramp up to full production with new robots, tooling and manufacturing processes, many customers could be waiting until February or longer to get their 2015 F-150.
Ford cannot rush it. It is the most-watched vehicle launch in the industry, and there is no tolerance for quality issues.
For the full article, see Alissa Priddle, “Aluminum F-150 production begins at Ford Rouge plant”, Detroit Free Press, November 11, 2014.