The Ford World Headquarters building will be one of three live broadcast locations for the F-150 Lightning electric truck debut on May 19. Signaling the importance of the F-150 to the Blue Oval brand, workers in Dearborn have been busy covering the HQ building’s glass with a 64,000-square-foot projection screen for the event.
Ford is a huge presence in the Detroit metro area, so when anything odd happens at the company’s 12-story headquarters building, called the Glass House, it can cause quite a stir. So when The Detroit Free Press noticed over the weekend that workers in high-vis vests and hardhats were covering the building’s heat-absorbing windows with a white screen, the speculation began. They were able to get the size of the screen from the inside source, but not much more info.
Since then, it has been all but confirmed that the screen will be used to livestream the F-150 Lightning reveal, to be simulcast at Ford headquarters, New York’s Times Square and on the Las Vegas Strip. The timing is just too perfect for it to be anything else.
However, the significance of using the HQ at One America Road (that’s its real address) cannot be understated. Automakers typically hold their reveals at auto shows or specially staged venues. An administrative building, even if it’s the center of a multinational corporate structure, is not typically high on the list.
However, the F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 40 years, and the Lightning represents a paradigm shift for America’s work truck. It is perhaps an even bigger philosophical leap than the Mustang Mach-E. By holding the event at the very heart of FoMoCo’s empire, a building officially called Henry Ford II World Center, the company is making a statement about what the F-150 Lightning means to the brand. Plus, the truck will be built at a new EV facility at Ford’s historic Rouge complex nearby.
The F-150 Lightning will debut at 9:30 p.m. ET May 19, and if you can’t be on location in Dearborn, NY, or Vegas, it will also be livestreamed on Ford social channels.