Ford has expanded its design centre in Cologne

Ford has expanded its design centre in Cologne

Ford has opened a EUR11.6m (US$14.5m) extension to its Merkenich-Cologne design centre in Germany which includes a virtual reality “powerwall” for improved real-time global communication; new milling machines to produce precise clay models of new vehicles; and the redesign of existing studios.

The centre is home to the development team for global small and compact vehicles.

Ford Europe design chief Martin Smith said: “Outstanding design is one of the things that sets our brand apart and excites our customers. The design centre expansion will provide employees with a highly-motivational environment in which they are free to further develop Ford’s design philosophy."

He added: “This powerwall will allow us to communicate in real time with our colleagues around the world – so we can exchange design ideas, show progress and comment on the work in Australia, in North America and here in Europe.”

The extension’s open plan design means there are no barriers between the teams that work at the centre to foster an open and inclusive atmosphere that is important to the design process, added Smith.

The new wing is the largest single expansion of the design centre since it was first constructed in 1968.

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