Visiting Ford World Headquarters

(Dearborn, MI) – I was graciously invited by Ford Motor Company to attend the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. A handful of bloggers from around the globe were selected by Ford to witness firsthand the revealing of the brand new 2013 Ford Fusion. A special tour of the Ford World Headquarters and dinner at the Henry Ford Museum were also on the agenda.

The trip began when I landed in Detroit on Sunday and was picked up in a new Ford Edge Sport from Detroit Metro Airport. I was very excited to be visiting Dearborn, birthplace of Henry Ford and home of the Blue Oval. I saw my first glimpse of the Ford building from Michigan Highway M-39 while getting off at a nearby exit. You couldn’t miss it, being one of the tallest buildings in the area. This was the first time I had seen the World Headquarters in person and hopefully it won’t be my last. I had my smart phone ready and snapped a quick shot and uploaded it to Facebook to tell all my friends and fans that I was in Dearborn!

The next day started off early and was full day of press conferences, including the 2013 Ford Fusion Reveal and attending media day at NAIAS. Later that night, I joined the other selected bloggers for dinner at Ford HQ. It has always been a dream of mine to walk through the doors of one of the largest automotive icons in the business. I didn’t really know what to expect but it turned out differently than what I had imaged.

The Ford World Headquarters isn’t as big as it looks in the pictures, probably because photographers always take their shots along the longest side of the building which almost creates a false illusion that its massive. Well, it’s a pretty narrow rectangular shaped building with only 11 stories. The windows looked like they had soap scum on it. World Headquarters is engulfed by parking lots and grass fields. The interior and exterior were pretty boring and reflected its age, 1960ish architecture.

When we walked in, there were some finger foods and appetizers served at the lobby. My favorite was cheese and crackers and crab cakes served on crackers. But, the yummy stuff couldn’t be served on plates. Three old-school Mustangs – red BOSS 351, green and yellow BOSS 302s were parked in the hallway. I abandoned my food to take pictures of these classic automobiles.

They looked like brand new cars inside a showroom. All were very eye-catching, and gained a lot of attention from the other bloggers whom couldn’t resist taking pictures. Now, World Headquarters was starting to look like the museum I had envisioned. Sadly, there were only 7 vehicles in the building; among the others were a pair of S197 GT500s and S197 GT500 Super Snake towards the back entrance.

Dinner was exciting. There were several Ignite presenters sharing their stories on particular topics. There was also slideshow presentation of approximately twenty slides. Ignite speakers included artist Jonathan Brand, a few daddy bloggers, Ford Digital Communications/Social Media Manager Scott Monty and Sheryl Connely, Ford Global Trends and Futuring Manager. Jonathan Brand is an artist. What did he make? He created a full-scale model of a Mustang using only paper. Even the spark plugs are fabricated with paper. Check out the photos below in the album of his presentation. Free food. Free alcohol. All you can eat and drink. I had a blast and thank you Ford for a great time!