Ford Finds $100k Surprise in Soon-to-be-Demolished Plant

Have you ever found a free $100k? Let’s narrow the field even further. Ever found $100k that you didn’t need and gave it away? Unless the Founder and former CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is reading my scrawlings, my guess is that we all will have to say “no” that. Well, that is exactly what Ford just did when some people found $100k worth of high-grade interior leather in the Ford Product Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Not only did they forget they had it, but they have decided to give it all away to local businesses in the Detroit area. 

What does $100k in leather even look like? 

According to Autoblog, Ford is calling this forgotten leather a “major discovery.” Not only are there palettes upon pallets of the stuff, but it is also super-high-quality stuff. This stockpile was typically used in the design and upholstery of the Ford F-150 King Ranch, Ford Explorer, Ford Escape, and Lincoln Navigator Black Label. These aren’t the economy-grade Ford Focus; these represent some of the finest interiors Ford makes. 

Where has all this primo leather been hiding? 

Ford is planning on building an all-new campus and, in doing so, needs to raze the existing development plant in Dearborn. While making some final passes through the facility when they came across a stockpile of over-ordered leather. Instead of throwing it all away or repurposing it in the production line, Ford has decided to give the stockpile away, all $100,000 of it. 

Ford finds $100k worth of leather in the basement of an old factory. This is one shelf of the stuff
Ford leather trove | Ford

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Ford says that this extra leather is pretty common in large-scale production. These production and development facilities will try to keep plenty of extra materials on-site as backup. Throughout the various development and production stages, mistakes and redesigns happen enough to where you need to keep many more materials on hand than you think. 

Who is getting this Ford leather?

Ford has said it is going to give all the leather away to local Detroit businesses. Two companies in the area are splitting the treasure trove of hides. The first is called Pingree Detroit who makes a variety of goods with recycled automotive leather. The company’s tagline is “Smells like a new car because it nearly was.” 

Their staff of mostly retired veterans makes a wide range of leather goods like shoes, wallets, coasters, dog collars and leashes, keychains, and more. Seeing how they specifically use recycled automotive leather, Ford found an easy recipient for half of their horde. 

The second recipient of the leather stash is another local group called Mend on the Move. Its mission is to support and employee survivors of abuse. The goal is to teach them a skill to “build confidence and begin to recognize that their lives have value and purpose.” Mend on the Move makes everything from jewelry to leather goods. 

Way to go Ford

Ford has clearly tried to find companies that could actually use the leather. Also, it wanted companies that are doing work to support the community and, by doing so, deserving extra support themselves. 

Autoblog points out Ford’s enthusiasm about this donation. “This is a unique situation where we are able to donate bundles of real, automotive-grade premium leather to small businesses in Detroit,” said Jim Conner, 3D process director. “We’re excited to see these leather hides that were collecting dust in the basement be put to good use by impactful businesses in the community.”