Ford Research and Advanced Engineering (R&A) Europe is working on future mobility solutions by creating smart vehicles in a smart world. Most of the R&A team is located in the Ford Research and Innovation Center (RIC) in Aachen, Germany, founded in 1995. In addition, a quarter of the team is based in Ford’s Development Center in Cologne and a few team members in Ford’s proving ground in Lommel, Belgium.
The workforce has grown to around 320 employees almost 30 different nations. Environmental and sustainability aspects are key for the development of the next generation powertrain portfolio, including hybridisation, advanced power supply and energy management. Further research projects are focused on new vehicle concepts, alternative fuels including e-fuels, as well as new materials and production processes such as additive manufacturing.
Safety, comfort and wellbeing aspects are being addressed in the areas of new chassis technologies, advanced driver assistance systems, connected vehicles including car-to-x communication, smart mobility solutions, innovative lighting systems, as well as vehicle interior concepts.
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 45,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures and approximately 59,000 people when unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 19 manufacturing facilities (12 wholly owned facilities and seven unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.