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Three-hour trek spotlights Ford's $2 billion makeover

By R.J. King / The Detroit News

DEARBORN — Factory tours at the Ford Motor Co.’s historic Rouge complex — halted 24 years ago — will resume May 1, though admission prices have yet to be set.

During the two to three-hour tour, visitors will experience interactive films displaying Ford’s storied past and manufacturing prowess, view environmental advances like a living roof and watch assembly operations from an elevated platform.

Displayed in the lobby of the Rouge Visitor Center is a lineup of memorable cars produced at the factory — from the 1929 Model A roadster to the 1956 Thunderbird to the 1965 Mustang convertible.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Rouge again,” said Allen Park resident Edward Wells. “I remember going before and seeing the blast furnaces.”

The Rouge, once the world’s largest manufacturing facility, is undergoing a $2 billion makeover that includes a new assembly plant for the Ford F-150 pickup along with a new engine plant. Ford plans to produce other vehicles at the factory as well.

Tours of the complex, where Henry Ford built a series of factories to convert raw materials into finished vehicles, began in 1924 and were discontinued in 1980.

The tours will be operated by The Henry Ford in Dearborn, home to Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village and the Benson Ford Research Center.
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