Ford puts real assembly line in middle of Detroit auto show

Ford assembly line display at NAIAS shows how cars are made


DETROIT – The Ford display at the Detroit auto show is the biggest of all the automakers, and features an entire section of a real assembly line.

Ford engineers say it's what you would see if you go to an actual Ford factory.

"It's such a cool display," says showgoer Ali Danchuck. "I don't know how they transferred the real equipment from an assembly line into the middle of Cobo for everyone to see."

Ford representatives say it was a lot of work, but worth it, because the assembly line is a huge part of the company's history.

It was Henry Ford who invented and developed the assembly line more than 100 years ago.

Back then, factory workers would have to pull the cars along the assembly line. It would take a full day or longer to make one vehicle. Now, the entire system is automated and computer-controlled.

Siemens, which helped with the Ford assembly line display, supplies the virtual software automation equipment to automakers around the world. The company says it's invested more than $1 billion in testing and upgrading the equipment over the past five years.

Today, companies are able to build upwards of 75 vehicles every hour thanks to improvements in technology. Many automakers credit the automated assembly line with increasing efficiency and lowering costs.