Ford Motor Co has announced its plans to open a 'smart mobility' facility in the UK. The US automotive colossus will extend its services by opening a new office in London - and plans to start a workforce of forty people. The 'smart mobility' facility will be located on Here East campus which is co-working business incubator, set up in part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The opening in London is the third smart mobility office established by Ford as it attempts to position itself as a progressive organization in what is becoming an increasingly unpredictable and competitive industry. Ford's Steven Armstrong, who is the firm's President of Europe, Middle East and Africa said the opening of the new facility in the UK represented an opportunity to accelerate its learning for new technologies.
Armstrong said: "Basing our rapidly growing team here in the heart of mobility innovation in London is critical to accelerating our learning and development of new technologies. The location at Here East will allow us greater collaboration and the out-of-the-box thinking needed to tackle the urban transport challenges of tomorrow. We will also be ideally placed to build on existing partner projects and have access to London's world-class digital talent. Both will be key aspects as we build towards our ambition of being a global leader in mobility solutions."
Ford's other smart mobility offices are located close to its HQ in Dearborn, Michigan and also in Palo Alto, California. In addition to this announcement, Ford has also disclosed its intentions to double its workforce in Palo Alto and construct a new 150,000 square-foot office space in the West Coast technology hub.
Ford's expansion into an overseas market comes just weeks after CEO Jim Hackett declared the company must adapt in what is a rapidly changing auto and mobility sector. Ford leadership and industry analysts have frequently said the company needs to do a better job of communicating - and delivering results - in its tech-minded fields.
Ford is still only in the very early stages of a 10-year overhaul of its Dearborn footprint - the estimated billion-dollar renovation on its World Headquarters campus and the product development center near The Henry Ford. The Smart Mobility unit has plans to invest $1 billion in Argo AI to develop the brains of its self-driving vehicles.