Ford Takes First Steps To Restore Detroit's Auto Industry Legacy With New Michigan Central Station Reveal

Michigan Central Station in Detroit began service over a century ago. Two decades later, the once popular station was abandoned until 2018 when Ford Motor Co F acquired it and the area surrounding it.

Since then: The company also purchased the former Detroit Public Schools Book Depository, two acres of vacant land, the site of an old brass factory, and a former factory in Corktown at the time. The plan was to transform the Corktown neighborhood into a campus wherein Ford will work on autonomous and electric vehicles.

And after five years, on Tuesday, Newlab Detroit’s headquarters opened at the revamped Michigan Central book depository — the first finished piece of the Michigan Central innovation district.

"Five years ago, we set out to create a place that would accelerate Detroit and our region's role in solving the most pressing mobility challenges and change people's lives for the better," said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford while adding that the vision is now becoming a reality.

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The new workspace is the result of a collaboration between Michigan Central and Newlab to reimagine the building as a 270,000-square-foot dynamic workplace.

It will be home to hundreds of entrepreneurs, inventors and companies focused on next-generation solutions in mobility, said Newlab in a statement. Airspace Link, Cavnue, Grounded and JustAir are among the many startups already based at Newlab.

"Michigan Central will go from being a story about Detroit's decay to the story about Detroit's rebirth. This will be the first tangible evidence that that vision is coming to life," Ford added, as first reported by Wired.

Why It Matters: General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler), the three major American automotive companies headquartered in the Detroit area, are known as “The Detroit Three.” 

These companies have a long and storied history in the automotive industry, with Detroit being considered the birthplace of the American auto industry. 

The Detroit Three have faced numerous challenges over the years, including increased foreign competition, economic downturns, and changing consumer preferences, but they continue to be major players in the global automotive market.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

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