Ford has recently opened its China Design Center in Shanghai, the company’s sixth global design center. The facility expands the manufacturer’s existing design studio to include a showroom and in-house clay model workshop, making it the first auto maker to operate a fully fledged design center in central Shanghai.
Capable of operating independently and focusing on vehicles for the Chinese market, the center houses a complete range of automotive design capabilities and facilities, including exterior, interior and color and materials design; digital experience design; design strategy; digital modeling; design engineering; and clay modeling, milling and fabrication.
Located alongside in the same complex are cross-discipline teams such as Advanced Product Marketing, Enterprise Connectivity, the D-Ford Human-Centered Design Studio, and access to teams from Ford’s Engineering R&D Center in Nanjing.
The expanded capability and increased integration will enable Ford to design vehicles in China from a blank page to full-size clay model under one roof. Using augmented reality and virtual reality (VR), designers can test and refine digital concepts before having clay models developed. After milling and fabrication, the models move to a specialist area for review in 3D form, followed by an immersive digital review through VR and 8K LED Powerwalls.
“Under our ‘Best of Ford, Best of China’ commitment, we are accelerating the delivery of the Ford+ plan. The launch of this world-class design center is our latest step to modernize,” said Anning Chen, president and CEO of Ford China.
“The industry is rapidly pivoting to electrification, connectivity and intelligent technologies. Ford’s China Design Center will help us deliver best-in-class products with Ford’s distinctive design DNA and pioneering innovation spirit that will define our offerings to customers in China. We are excited to see Ford’s iconic heritage shine through designs that reflect Chinese innovation and craftsmanship.”