When was the last time you found over $100,000 worth of things that you forgot you owned? Oh, never? Same here. However, Ford cannot relate, as the company just unearthed over $100,000 worth of unused leather hides (that’s a lot of leather) as it was preparing to demolish the Ford Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich.
While $100,000 may be a massive amount of money for most folks, it’s just another well-equipped Lincoln Navigator for Ford. That said, the Blue Oval is calling it a “major discovery” on its quest to raze the current day production center in favor of a totally new campus. All of the leather found was originally bought to be used in seat and interior prototypes. Ford says it normally buys more than it needs in case mistakes occur or they need it for new ideas that form later. All of the leather found here was used in development work for the Ford F-150 King Ranch, Ford Explorer, Ford Escape and Lincoln Navigator Black Label.
Instead of throwing away the old and forgotten about leather, Ford is donating it to Detroit businesses. The whole array of hides is being split between a company called Pingree Detroit and Mend on the Move. Pingree is a Detroit-based leather goods company that aims to employ veterans, and Mend on the Move is a nonprofit that employs women survivors of abuse.
“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.”
The hide colors include Ebony, Cashmere and King Ranch Red. You can buy items from Pingree Detroit right now that were made using vehicle leather. It’s not necessarily made using this new Ford leather, though, as Pingree regularly reclaims leather from the Detroit auto industry to make its products. The tagline is: “Smells like a new car, because it nearly was.”