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Ford Plans New Headquarters for a New Century
American auto companies haven't exactly had an easy few decades, but Detroit stalwarts like Ford and G.M. are making a comeback. To cement its hoped-for future as a 21st-century "mobility company," Ford is planning a monumental new campus in Dearborn, Michigan, based clearly on the Silicon Valley model.
Neal E. Boudette writes, "The company, which is 112 years old, said it would begin transforming its headquarters and main development center in Dearborn, just outside Detroit, into two sprawling, high-tech campuses of energy-efficient buildings. There, it plans to showcase autonomous shuttles, electric bikes and other green modes of transportation."
To compete with newer tech firms, car manufacturers are scrambling to re-brand themselves. "The headquarters plan reflects a broader struggle by automakers to shed their Rust Belt images and recast themselves as nimble, high-growth companies, said Akshay Anand, an analyst at with the research firm Kelley Blue Book."
That trend also applies to another one of the "Big Three" American automakers, General Motors. From the article: "Other automakers are moving in the same direction. General Motors recently invested $500 million in Lyft, the ride-sharing service and main rival of Uber. G.M. also acquired Cruise Automation, a maker of sensors and other gear that can enable conventional automobiles to drive themselves on highways."