Ford to shift 2-liter EcoBoost engine output to Ohio plant from Spain
Nearly $200 million project to add 450 jobs
Since output began in 2009, Ford has built more than 500,000 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engines, primarily for the F-150 pickup.
Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
CLEVELAND -- Ford Motor Co. will begin domestic production of its 2.0-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine at its Cleveland Engine Plant in Brook Park, Ohio, in late 2014, the automaker said today.
Ford will invest nearly $200 million and add 450 jobs at the plant, which will produce all 2.0-liter EcoBoost engines for North America. Ford had previously imported the 2.0-liter EcoBoost from its factory in Valencia, Spain, which will continue to produce the engine for Europe.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a ceremony to kick off production here, Joe Hinrichs, Ford president for the Americas, explained the shift in production bases by saying the No. 1 reason "is growing demand for the EcoBoost engine. An engine is expensive to ship."
Demand for EcoBoost engines "has frankly exceeded our expectations," he said. Ford said it would expand production of EcoBoost engines to 1.6 million engines this year, 100,000 above its previous target.
Engine for 95% of Fords
The company said EcoBoost engines will be offered on more than 90 percent of its North American nameplates this year and 95 percent by 2015.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost to be built in Cleveland is now available on the Ford Explorer, Edge, Escape, Fusion, Focus ST and Taurus and the Lincoln MKZ and MKT Livery.
The Cleveland Engine Plant was the first Ford plant to build EcoBoost engines. Since production began in 2009, Ford has built more than 500,000 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engines, primarily for the F-150 pickup.
Ford stands to save money by moving production of engines destined for North America out of the more expensive euro-denominated Valencia factory.
Michael Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain for LMC Automotive in suburban Detroit, said moving production of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine to the United States makes sense for Ford, especially in light of coming federal regulations that mandate a corporate average fuel economy of 35.5 mpg in 2016.
'Good for their bottom line'
"Ford needs all the fuel-efficient engines they can get. If the 2.0 can replace some V-6s and get better fuel economy, it makes sense for Ford to do that," Omotoso said. "It should be good for their bottom line because they charge a premium for the EcoBoost. If they lower their production costs and can still charge a premium, it will help boost their profits."
The Valencia plant will continue to produce parts, including the engine block, for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost and ship them to North America.
Hinrichs: U.S. demand for Ford's EcoBoost engine line is growing and an engine is expensive to ship.
Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
Ford officials would not discuss future product, but the 2.0-liter EcoBoost also will likely be offered on the Lincoln MKC crossover, which was shown as a concept in Detroit and will arrive in late 2013 or early 2014.
Omotoso says Ford also could use a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine on the next-generation Ford Mustang, due in 2015.
"We also see potential for 2.0- or 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the [next-generation] Mustang as the base engine," he said. Ford does not currently make a 2.3-liter EcoBoost, but Omotoso says Ford has one on the drawing board.
When the redesigned Mustang arrives in 2015, Ford plans to sell it beyond its traditional North American stronghold and make it a global vehicle.
The 2.0-liter EcoBoost produces 240 hp in most applications. The most powerful version puts out 258 hp in the sporty Focus ST performance model.
Ford makes the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.7-liter Duratech engines at its Cleveland plant.
Ford's EcoBoost technology combines direct injection and turbocharging to achieve up to 20 percent better fuel economy than larger displacement engines.
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