Drive Type: -
Model: Model A
Sun City, California, United States
Detroit has no shortage of old, abandoned buildings, both within the city and in the surrounding communities. Few, though, have the historical significance of the old Ford Highland Park facility. Home to the very first moving assembly line, Highland Park was designed by the legendary Albert Kahn, and was one of the homes of the Model T.
Now, the Woodward Avenue Action Association is attempting to buy both the 40,000-square-foot admin building, which is located off the historic Woodward Avenue, and an 8,000-square-foot garage. The WAAA's goal is to convert the buildings into an automotive heritage center. The Detroit News spoke to the interim director of the WAAA, Deborah Schutt, who commented, "[Metro Detroit has] not been very good at telling our own story. So we've decided, let's pull everything together and tell our story."
The WAAA made an offer of $550,000 to buy the two buildings, and has $400,000 from the Michigan Department of Transportation and another $15,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. It's trying to raise a further $125,000 through crowd-sourcing, starting a campaign called "Five Dollars A Day," after old Hank Ford's $5-per-day wage for line workers.
Fiat Chairman John Elkann has been turning to an unusual source for advice on the car business. While speaking during an interview with The Detroit News, Elkann said he often asks Bill Ford Jr. for advice on how to proceed with the turnaround at Chrysler. "It's great to have the opportunity to share this with someone like Bill, who has experienced many things and gone through many things ... especially linked to Detroit." Elkann said.
As the Agnelli family heir, Elkann has inherited a long and fruitful friendship with the Ford family. While Giovanni Agnelli built his first Fiat four years before Henry Ford created his first vehicle, it was Ford that showed Agnelli the benefits of mass production and helped pave the way for what would become the Fiat empire.
Giovanni's grandson, Gianni, helped mentor Bill Ford when he was elected chairman of Ford Motor Company. Now, Ford is returning the favor by helping Elkann navigate the automotive industry's tumultuous waters.
Looking at a Ford Focus? These days you can get it as a five-door hatch, a four-door sedan, or... that's all. European buyers don't even get our sedan, but they do get a wagon. And while the three-door hatch, two-door coupe and two-door cabrio have long since ended production, buyers around the world can also get the company's larger C-Max. And now, like the Focus upon which it's based, Ford is preparing to roll out a new version.
The tall wagon (or small minivan, depending on your perspective) is being treated to what Ford says is "an extreme makeover." Details to accompany the teaser image above remain few and far between, but following the spy shots we recently posted, it looks destined for some of the same visual updates as Ford rolled out on the 2015 Focus, with "even more refinement, practicality and technology."
Like the Mercedes B-Class, which is only available Stateside as an EV, American buyers can only get the C-Max in electrified form, either as the C-Max Hybrid or C-Max Energi. Overseas buyers, however, will be able to choose from a range of powertrain options and two wheelbase lengths - the longer of which boasts seven seats and the Grand C-Max name. (Remember when Chrysler did the same with its minivans?) Both are set to debut on September 17, so watch this space. After that, we'll expect to see it on display at the Paris Motor Show.