Yesterday marked the beginning of production for the 2021 Ford F-150 pickup, as the truck enters its 14th generation. The new pickup will be built at Ford’s River Rouge facility in Dearborn, Michigan, where nearly half of all full-size pickups were built last year. In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, Ford has rolled out its new “Built for America” brand campaign. The series of ads will highlight Ford’s position as the lead producer of cars in America, as well as their position as the largest employer of U.S. hourly autoworkers.
The first ad to be released under the “Built for America” campaign is titled “Built Together,” which Ford says represents their values of celebrating diversity, environmental progress, and the tradition of producing vehicles here in the United States. Following the debut of the ad-spot yesterday, MC&T sat down with Ford’s Chief Manufacturing and Labor Affairs Officer Gary Johnson to discuss why Ford has stayed committed to building in the States when other American automakers haven’t.
“We’re an American Company,” said Johnson. “I mean you think back 117 almost 118 years, we started this industry. I think having, you know, the grandson of Ford Motor Company being our executive chairman is why we are where we are. And it’s important for us to build here. You know we talked about more employees, more buying, we build here in the US, but it’s also an integrity aspect for me. That we’ve always been this way as a company, and we want to continue to be that way and Bill as our leader and Jim in his new role as CEO are all cognizant of that and want to make a difference. So I think it’s really important.”
This sentiment is echoed throughout the “Built for America” campaign, which also highlights the importance of keeping the American industrial segment strong. This was proved to all of us when the coronavirus pandemic hit our shores, and Detroit’s automakers stepped up to build much-need ventilators. Ford themselves built 50,000 of these life-saving machines, which was more than any other automaker. While Johnson noted that not everyone in America is going to care that Ford is so invested in American people and employees, it matters to their customers.
“And you know and sometimes you look in the country and some parts it doesn’t matter what you buy and where it’s made, but there’s a heart of America that still cares if it’s built in the US and that is our clientele,” said Johnson. “That’s that commercial working truck (pointing to F-150) and that’s why we’re here.”
Whether you are a fan of their products or not, Ford deserves a bit of credit for being such a staple here in the United States. While others continue to move production around the globe to save costs, Ford will remain Built for America, in America.