Hooray! I finally got the photos off my camera from my trip to the North American International Auto Show in January, courtesy of Ford! It was hard to be concise with everything I saw over my 3 day trip to Detroit, and while I shared most of it on Twitter, here is a great collection of photos from that event.
The Ford Rouge Factory tour is open to the public, but cameras were not allowed in the production area. Guests can walk through and watch – station by station – as a vehicle is being built on the assembly line by Ford plant employees. We watched a Ford F-150 being built which was really interesting to see! It was like watching an episode of Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” right before my eyes. Tour guides are available at various stations to explain further details, and there’s interactive areas as well with video screens giving guests more detail about what’s happening on the production line below. There was also an area, seen above, detailing the history of Ford vehicles. Our dinner at the Henry Ford Museum was so much more than I expected! I’m not a “museum” person, but I suppose that’s because the museums I have visited have not had much inside to interest me. The Henry Ford Museum is a breathtaking look at American history with pieces I couldn’t believe they actually had inside. The Kennedy Limousine - yes that car that JFK was in, Jackie Kennedy at his side, when he was assassinated. Ronald Reagan’s limousine that he was in when an attempted assassination was made was also on display.
The very chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated on display behind glass. It was eerie and thought-provoking standing in front of that glass looking at that chair. Topping that with 10x the emotion was walking into a quiet area where the very bus that Rosa Parks was riding on, the bus she refused to give up her seat on, is displayed.
Of course there are many many more pieces of American culture inside the Henry Ford Museum including the photo above of high chairs used in America. The Fully Furnished exhibits, sharing beautiful pieces of furniture from years ago, was really interesting too.
The Ford area on the floor at NAIAS was so well thought out, and classy, and professional. I say that after walking the whole floor and comparing the objectives and marketing strategy of all the brands at the show. I noted that many foreign auto brands used the classic pretty girl in a tight dress to stand beside the vehicles (which turned me off to the brand completely, though I know it does the opposite for many!) I liked that Ford, and the other domestic auto companies, kept it classy instead focusing on the vehicles, the business, and the value of that purchase. The emergency vehicles display was a great addition as well.
Above are some of the great displays (minus the cute girls in tight dresses cropped out on some) of other vehicles seen at the NAIAS! The BMW i8 concept car got a lot of attention on the floor! Of course, the Hot Wheels display attracted this mom, naturally, and I thought that was great marketing.
Thanks to the Ford team for inviting me to this event and, as always, leaving me with much more knowledge than I had going in. I’m so proud to engage with Ford because, as I’ve said in the past, I feel they truly get it. They understand social media, influencers, and love sharing their message in innovative ways.