Plant Tours

asbe Foundation, in conjunction with the Design and Manufacturing Alliance, arranges industrial and historical tours for High School and College Students.

Special tours are arranged for instructors and educational decision makers. We identify host companies, serve as a tour liaison, and develop tour guides to maximize the educational value of each tour. Three of our educational Tour sites may appear non-traditional but have an important story to tell. The GM Heritage Center, The Ford Piquette Plant, and the Stahl Museum are three popular venues that students often tour. These tours enable student to see how automobiles have developed over time as improved materials, design and engineering have enabled their evolution. 

Additional tours are being negotiated and instructors will be notified as they become available through the intermediate school districts and college deans. For questions or further information about student/instructor tours, please contact:

The General Motors Heritage Center, Sterling Heights, MI 48312
. The General Motors Heritage Center exhibits over 150 vehicles and archives related historic documents and artifacts. The vehicles demonstrate a history of automotive design and technical innovation. A limited number of student tours will be available during the 2019-2020 school year.

Tours will begin with a short orientation to the Center, followed by a guided walking tour led by retired GM engineers and designers, and a closing discussion of automotive career opportunities. An instructor tour will be arranged as well. Interested instructors should contact Jim Varty at or by calling (248) 227-3432. Tours will be arranged as schools are identified. For further information on the GM Heritage Center see:


Nissan Technical Center, North America (NTCNA) Farmington Hills, MI. MI
NTCNA located in Farmington Hills is Nissan’s main campus for Research & Development (R&D) in North America.  This facility houses production engineering, research and testing, purchasing, quality and administration and employs more than 1,200.  A guided tour of the NTCNA facility will provide both instructors and students insight into the R&D process to design, build, and test vehicles.

Tours are limited to a maximum of 20 students and are conducted on Wednesdays from 10:00am – 12:00pm. Please contact Brenda Conrad directly at or call her at 248-488-4679 to schedule a tour.  She, in turn, will provide a tour application and schedule the tour. For additional information about NTCNA see:


The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, Detroit, MI 48202
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is the birthplace of the Ford Model T. It is again open and evolving into a symbol of Detroit’s ability to invent, innovate, and rebound. Walk the plank floors worn smooth by hundreds of workers and thousands of cars. See Henry Ford’s competition, his early successes and false starts.

The walking tour starts with an orientation to the facility and is followed by a description of each automobile, its history, its innovations and its place in the evolution of the automobile in America.  Tours are available on Wednesday through Friday during fall and after mid-March and last approximately 90 minutes.  Tours can be scheduled by contacting Anna Janik-Shaw at (313) 872-8759, or at .  A video on the Piquette Plant, “A Moment in Time” is available to instructors to prepare students for their visit. For further information on the Ford Piquette tour see:



Interior Environments: Novi, MI
Interior Environments describes its interior design company as “a team of problem solvers, designers, collaborators, and project managers who love designing and building spaces for people from start to finish. Interior Environments is all about creating office spaces that reflect and enhance the fascinating people that actually use them.” Two instructor/staff tours will be scheduled during the course of the year. The dates of these tours will be announced through your intermediate school district. 

A number of student tours, limited to a maximum of 25-30 students, will be available as well and can be scheduled by contacting Jason Dawson at or by calling Jason at 248-305-1941.  For additional information about Interior Environments please see:



Stahl Automotive Museum Chesterfield, MI
This private museum has an amazing collection of automobiles that span the years from 1800s to 1960s. The collection provides an excellent opportunity for students to trace the historical development of the automobile. The development and use of new materials, advances in styling, and engineering innovation are all evident in the evolution of the cars on display.

Tours are approximately 90 minutes and are available on Mondays and Wednesday-Friday. Students will need to be accompanied by a suitable number of chaperones. Recommended time for the tour is between the hours of 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. If there is a schedule conflict, a more suitable timeframe can be negotiated. This facility is also available for instructor tours and staff in-service. Contact Terri Coppens at or 586-749-1078 to schedule a tour. For more about the Stahl Museum see:



FCA Sterling Hgts Assembly Plant (SHAP), Sterling Hgts, MI 48312
The management of this state of the art facility where the Dodge Ram 1500 is assembled has agreed to provide a tour for 20 instructors from 1-3pm on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. This tour will include an orientation to SHAP, the tour itself, and an opportunity for discussion about career opportunities in this plant that currently employs nearly 8000 hourly and salaried personnel.

Because space is limited, if interested, please contact either your intermediate school technical representative or Jim Varty as soon as possible. Tours for students 18 or older will be made available as well. Please contact Jim Varty at or call 248-227-3432 to arrange a student tour. For further information on SHAP see: