Ford’s Planned New Headquarters Borrow Some Silicon Valley Sheen

Planned Ford HQ Building

 

This article in The New York Times highlights Ford’s desire to redesign themselves as not a car manufacturer but a “mobility company”. While they have already started developing self-driving cars, Ford’s image does not compare to that of Tesla or even Google. Like we talked about in class, the auto industry in the early twentieth century resembled the tech industry in Silicon Valley today. It is interesting to see how Ford wants to remain competitive through the sparking of innovation by redesigning their headquarters to resemble the emerging companies in northern California. The company hopes that the interconnected campuses and new buildings with new open work spaces will spur innovation and allow employees to think differently. The headquarters plan reflects a struggle by automakers to shed their old  images and recast themselves as “nimble, high-growth companies”. The project will take 10 years to complete and Ford has budgeted $7.7 billion for capital costs this year and is projecting to increase that to $9 billion by around 2020, much of which is going to renovation of their Dearborn headquarters.

1 comment to Ford’s Planned New Headquarters Borrow Some Silicon Valley Sheen

  • Well, I’ve seen firms attempt to package themselves to create better accord with stock market fads. That’s fine when it’s mainly PR. But Ford in particular suffered when Jacques Nasser actually made becoming a “dot.com” central to firm strategy, to the neglect of autos themselves. That was costly, in part because the strategy itself required money, in part because the lack of attention to quality and styling hurt sales. A lot.

    Read Vlasic for the story.